Monday night’s drama involving a girl in an inebriated condition being roughed up by her male friends after they visited a hookah parlour in Vikas Nagar, Wanowrie, has taken a dramatic turn. The incident prompted residents of Vikas Nagar to intervene, and the end result of it all was that Assistant Commissioner of Police (Zone IV) V T Pawar announced the immediate closure of the hookah parlour on Tuesday night.
According to residents of Vikas Nagar and Shanti Nagar in Wanowrie, they have been requesting the local police to shut down the ‘Adda hukkah’ parlor since the last two years. It was only after Monday night’s incident, which resulted in the residents gathering in large numbers on the road to protest against the local police, that action was finally taken.
“The residents were annoyed by the obscene behavior of individuals visiting the parlour and the spillage of hooliganism onto the street, as a result of the youngsters being high,” said Kishor Baliger, a resident of Vikas Nagar.
He added that residents had been complaining to the local police station since two years to shut down the parlor, but no action was taken and they had to put up with the objectionable behavior of the youngsters.
“Inspired by examples set by women from rural areas, who often shut liquor shops to ensure their families are not affected by its ill influence on their men folk, the residents gathered on Tuesday night and held a rally against the local police,” said Baligar.
Local NCP corporator Prashant Jagtap said that since the day of the incident, the parlor has been closed.
“The parlour was a tin shed and we have decided to demolish it so that it cannot be reopened. We will now target hookah parlors located on NIBM Road,” Jagtap said.
Police Inspector of Wanowrie police station, Ajit Khadke said that the hookah parlor was shut down two years ago and it was currently being run as a hotel, which residents of Vikas Nagar opposed.
“The owner couldn’t produce the licence and other related documents when the incident took place. However, we always wanted to shut the hotel, but it was not in the jurisdiction of the police and the prerogative to close the hotel lies with PMC,” said Khadke.