Nakabandis are synonymous with nights out in Mumbai. These roadblocks, set up and manned by Mumbai’s cops are used as a system of patrolling roads through checkpoints. While they might fundamentally seem like a good thing, Mumbai cops use them to falsify charges and collect fines from drivers who are too tired/lazy/in a rush to go to the police station and get their license the next day. The cops falsify a variety of charges, from driving on the wrong side of a one-way street (even if there is no sign saying the street is a one-way street) to having too many people in a car. Interestingly, male cops are not allowed to stop solo female drivers – only female cops can stop or arrest female drivers at night.
If you’re driving on the streets late at night, be sure to check out the map below for the places cops usually set up these nakabandis. If you want a laugh, be sure to check out this great story on a drunk driver biting off a cop’s finger at a nakabandi
Places to avoid if you don’t want to get fined (for drunk driving, too many people in a car, or generally having a good night)
While the Mumbai police have a notorious reputation for being the most easily bribed – and for being the initiator’s of the bribe – they have served the city extremely well since the inception of the Bombay Police Force in 1857.In the 1990s and the mid-2000s, the Mumbai Police used encounter killings to cripple the city’s underworld and break down a rampant extortion racket; it is believed that the ‘Encounter Squad’ made up of Daya Nayak, Valentine Fernandes, Pradeep Sharma,Ravindranath Angre, Praful Bhosale, Raju Pillai, and Vijay Salaskar, killed around 1200 members of Dawood Ibrahim’s D-Company gang, the Arun Gawali gang and the Amar Naik gang.The police force also showed great bravery during the deadly militant attack of 2008 in Mumbai. The Ashok Chakra, the highest civilian honor during peace time, was conferred posthumously upon two officers of Indian Police Service Hemant Karkare & Ashok Kamte; who laid their lives on 26/11.
More recently, however, the police has actively engaging in moral policing along with extreme right wing activists from the Rashtriya Swaymasevah Sangh and the Vishva Hindu Parishad. Raids on hotels, bars and private establishments without following due process have become common, as have the arrests and beatings of young couples, especially inter-caste or inter-religious couples.