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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 April, 2005, 08:20 GMT 09:20 UK
Axe falls on Mumbai dancing bars
Mumbai dancing girl
The girls dance and customers often throw money
Authorities in India's western state of Maharashtra are to close more than 600 dancing-girl bars in Mumbai (Bombay).

The crackdown was launched last month with the closure of bars in the rest of the state, but a decision has now been taken to include the state capital.

The girls dance Bollywood numbers and clients often thrown them money. The government says the bars are a breeding ground for crime and prostitution.

Bar owners and dancing girls are expected to launch a bitter protest.

They were meeting on Wednesday to decide a course of action.

'Corrupting'

A government spokesman said: "The cabinet approved a proposal to close the bars in Mumbai as well, as they had a bad influence on society."

State Home Minister RR Patil warned that bars continuing to employ dancing girls would lose their licences and offenders could be jailed for three years.

"The bars are corrupting the moral fibre of our youth," he said.

The head of the Dance Bars Owners' Association, Manjeet Singh, told the Associated Press: "The government should know that they cannot crush an industry like this.

"This battle will be taken to the courts and the streets. The government is playing with people's lives. How will the girls earn their livelihood?"

Overall, the state has about 1,500 dance bars employing more than 100,000 women.

The government and police have long regarded the dance bars as venues for prostitution, although they are not illegal.



SEE ALSO:
Maharashtra dancing girls protest
04 Apr 05 |  South Asia
Maharashtra shuts dance-girl bars
30 Mar 05 |  South Asia
Bombay's barmaids stage protest
20 Aug 04 |  South Asia
Bombay's 'dancing' bars raided
25 Feb 04 |  South Asia
Bombay bars offer 'Bollywood' girls
29 Oct 03 |  South Asia
Bombay barmaids call time
25 Dec 98 |  South Asia


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