GB has been flooded with calls and emails from people asking about the Lucknow arrests and what the implications for the larger gay community could be.
Specifically people want to know what sort of risk they would be running by having a profile up on guys4men.com, the site that seems to have lead to this, and on similar such sites. Some people are also panicking about being on the Net in any gay space whatsoever and about coming to gay events like GB parties. Its hard to give definite answers when everything is so unclear, but we should know more quite soon since a fact finding team of activists is now in Lucknow and will be meeting with the police and, hopefully, the detainees soon. Also, whatever one feels, panicking is never the best reaction. What one needs to do is to evaluate what little we know of this case, and from what we know from experience and proceed on that basis. Alok has done an excellent job of summarising the known facts of the case and its implications with regard section 377. I'll add some more philosophic comments in another, mail, but this is the mail to read for the basics: An update on the recent Lucknow Arrests. Hi everyone, Most of us have read the sensational newspaper reports of the "gang of 4" of homosexuals who have been arrested under S. 377 of the Indian Penal Code, "having unnatural sex" in the public parks of Lucknow, on the 3rd of Jan 2006. We have also read that these men met through a club set up by them on the internet, mainly via a website called www.guys4men.com. The press has, as always, sensationalised this story and blown it out of proportion. The mis-reporting is also largely due to the false statements made by the Police to hide their own flouting of police procedures and mis-application of S. 377 of the Indian Penal Code. The gay community has already helped in appointing lawyers for the people arrested and over 5 activists from across the country, have gone to Lucknow, to conduct a detailed fact finding, to determine what exactly took place, by checking the police records; speaking to the police involved, the people arrested and their families. So far the clear facts that have emerged are as follows: One, Mr. N, a teacher, was caught by the Police (the exact nature of the arrest is unclear) on the night of the 2nd of Jan in Lucknow on allegations of S. 377. The allegations were based on the discovery by the Police of his cell number of on a profile on www.guys4men.com. The Police engineered an entrapment and invited Mr. N to a Hotel, having entrapped him they took away his cell phone. They identified three numbers which were the most frequently dialled numbers from Mr N's phone and picked these three other people up subsequently and arrested all four under S. 377 of the Indian Penal Code. To the world at large the Police has announced that these four men were found having sex in the Park. However all the other information being gathered by members of the community and other activists clearly indicates that no sexual activity took place, nor was their any meeting in the park. The entire arrests have been based on the leads recieved by the Police by, possible harassing and blackmailing Mr.N. As far as the case under S. 377 is concerned, its a complete mis- application of the law. S. 377 only makes THE ACTUAL ACT OF SODOMY (which could involve mutual masterbation, oral and anal sex) as punishable offences. Therefore: a.) Being gay is NOT an offence under S. 377, but getting caught in the act of homosexual sex can be. b.) Putting your name and profile on an internet profile, with benign messages like, looking for friendship, lover etc are defintely not punishable under S. 377. c.) Putting your name and profile on an internet website, even if it mentions (explicity) that you are intested in homosexual sex, is arguably, not an offence. d.) If you have a profile on the the internet on a gay website, with your name and even your your pictures, there is NO REASON TO WORRY. e.) However you may want to delete any nude/naked/sexually explicit pictures of yourself. f.) If your phone number is given with the profile, take it off, and just so you have peace of mind, change your cell no. Finally, what the Lucknow Police has done, is completely bad in law, and also mis-application of S. 377, and therefore the case against those 4 guys has no basis at all. On this point an application for Bail to release the 4 arrested will be made in the Sessions Court in Lucknow, in the course of the week. Alok Group Site: http://www.gaybombay.info ========================== This message was posted to the gay_bombay Yahoo! Group. Responses to messages (by clicking "Reply") will also be posted on the eGroup and sent to all members. If you'd like to respond privately to the author of any message then please compose and send a new email message to the author's email address. Post:- firstname.lastname@example.org Subscribe:- [EMAIL PROTECTED] Digest Mode:- [EMAIL PROTECTED] No Mail Mode:- [EMAIL PROTECTED] Individual Mail Mode:- [EMAIL PROTECTED] Contact Us:- [EMAIL PROTECTED] Archives are at http://www.mail-archive.com/gay_bombay%40yahoogroups.com/maillist.html Classifieds for personal advertisements are back on www.gaybombay.info site. Please exercise restraint in the language of your personal advertisement. Yahoo! Groups Links <*> To visit your group on the web, go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gay_bombay/ <*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to: [EMAIL PROTECTED] <*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to: http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/