Brawl outside Mumbai pub over 'skipped dues'

Disgruntled ex-bartender of The Bar Stock Exchange attacks manager with sugarcane sticks over alleged non-payment of dues

The action at one of BKC’s most visited pubs, The Bar Stock Exchange (TBSE) spilled on to the streets on Saturday morning when a brawl broke out between the bar’s current staff and a former employee.

An injured Franky Mahung. Pic/Shadab Khan
An injured Franky Mahung. Pic/Shadab Khan

The staff from the pub, which became popular for introducing the idea of drink prices rising and dipping based on real time demand and supply, were winding up for the day at 2.15 am. Manager Franky Mahung, 29, was leaving with his colleague Varun Rai.

BSE is one of BKC’s most popular pubs
BSE is one of BKC’s most popular pubs

They were headed on a motorbike to the pub’s Bandra outpost to hand over the day’s earnings — amounting to over a lakh — to its owners. At the junction of LBS Road and BKC, barely five minutes from the pub, they were allegedly attacked by Vaibhav Marate, 21, who quit his job as bartender at TBSE in September.

He was accompanied by Yogesh Gaikwad, Rohit Sharma, Pratik Kalekar, Prathamesh Vani, Pratik Ghosalkar and two others. The accused used sugarcane sticks and helmets to attack Mahung, he claims, in an act of revenge after the establishment refused to clear Marate’s dues amounting to Rs 6,000.

“Marate worked with us from July to September, 2015. He said he wanted to quit, and wouldn’t serve notice, so we held back his salary. He used to call me repeatedly, asking me for his dues. I told him to approach the accounts department. I am not the owner, only a manager,” said Mahung, who was treated at Bhabha Hospital for a fractured nose and a head injury.

A company spokesperson in an email statement, however, claimed there were no dues pending. "Mr. Vaibhav Marathe had stopped coming to work without informing us. As far as his dues are concerned, we have already settled all his dues, which we have tried to communicate on multiple days. Mr. Vaibhav and those accompanying him were severely drunk (also confirmed by the police when medical tests were done) and such misbehaviour only showcases how they have been using brute force to extort money."

While Marate, Gaikwad, Sharma, Kalekar, Vani and Ghosalkar were arrested, the other two have been detained. An officer from Kurla Police Station, where the case is registered, requesting anonymity, said, “Our patrolling van was around the area when some locals tipped us off about the fight. Marate and Gaikwad were arrested from the spot, while the rest were arrested later.” While Mahung alleges that the accused took away the cash, a gold chain and his mobile phone, the police have only recovered the cellphone from the accused.

An FIR has been filed and the accused have been booked under Sections 395 (dacoity), 341 (Punishment for wrongful restraint) and 34 (Common intention) of IPC. Lalasaheb Shetye, senior police inspector at Kurla Police Station said, Mahung was noticed by officers on patrolling duty. “The two accused caught on the spot were produced in court on Saturday,” he added.

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