A raid at an unauthorised video parlour in Kudalwadi area of Chikhali has had an unexpected fallout — officers from the district Entertainment Duty (ED) department have claimed that cops who accompanied them to the scene remained mute spectators throughout the process, despite the storeowner attempting to disrupt proceedings. The sweep was carried out on Friday in the area, which comes under the jurisdiction of Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation.
Officers who had gone for the raid claimed that the police response surprised them as during a previous visit the same video parlour owner had tried to stop a government vehicle that had a beacon on top. ED department carried out the raid at the establishment that has been running in the area for the past three years following complaints from local residents.
“The same video parlour owner had previously tried to stop the government vehicle and interfered in the government duties. On Friday also the owner attempted to impede the action, but police remained mere spectators,” informed a source from ED department.
When contacted, sub-inspector Mahesh Dhawan of Dehu Road police station, who was present during the raid, said that the ED department had asked for police support that was provided.
“It was their (ED department’s) raid and we aided them. We can’t take action against the owner of the parlour unless we receive a complaint regarding violation of copyright rules,” Dhawan said. Only two police personnel were presented during the sweep.
While putting in the picture about the raid, Shirke said when the team reached the premises, around 65 people were present, watching a Bhojpuri film on the LCD screen.
“The parlour is spread over more than 3,000 sq ft and can seat around 200 people. Three shows were played every day and the total worth of the confiscated material would be close to Rs 4 Lakh,” said Shirke. She added that in addition to not possessing a licence for showcasing films, the parlour owner hasn’t paid any entertainment tax over the past three years, for which he will be penalised.
Chikhali comes under the jurisdiction of Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation and as the area has a population of over one lakh, the storeowner was expected to pay 20 per cent of the gross collection capacity for each show multiplied by 85 per cent of the number of shows actually held as tax.