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October 9, 2003
Police Reaction to Flash Mobs in Bombay
After India's first Flash Mob
, police are taking steps to make sure no more happen in Bombay, in light of crowd control rules put in place after the recent bomb attacks. I don't have a URL for this yet, so here's the wire copy:
BOMBAY, Oct 9 (AFP) - Flash mobs will not be seen again on
the streets of the western Indian city of Bombay following a police
crackdown on public gatherings, organisers said Thursday.
A flash mob -- a group of people mobilised by email, who
materialise in a public place and then fade away -- had appeared for
the first time in the city outside a shopping mall on October 4.
A group of 70 people, known as "mobsters," suddenly appeared,
talked loudly about stock prices and danced for a few minutes outside
the mall, disappearing before bystanders or security guards could
The craze caught on in the United States earlier this year
and Bombay organisers were planning more gatherings.
But the police have introduced stricter security measures
following a series of bomb blasts in the city, including two bombs on
August 25 which killed 52 people and left more 150 injured.
"Due to prohibitory orders in Bombay, there cannot be such
large gatherings of people," said Bombay joint police commissioner
"Secondly, in case a group of people are meeting for a common
cause, they have to take police permission."
"There will be no more flash mobs in Bombay," said flash mob
organiser Rohit Tikmany.
He said a senior police officer had contacted him and asked
him not to organise any further acts.
"The police say that any gathering of more than five people
needs prior police permission. This goes against the very concept of
the flash mob."
He said he was now supporting similar mob events in other
cities, particularly the capital New Delhi and IT hub Bangalore.
"Apart from these two cities, I am getting calls from
practically every city in the country to support such flash mobs," he
Tikmany said the mob gathering was coordinated over the
Internet "to do a predetermined act that will shock people."
"The key aspect of flash mob is that the participants are
total strangers. We remain strangers at all times and then disappear
immediately after the act. It's a yuppie, simple, fun act."
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