Mumbai: Rakesh Maria orders SoBo cops to raid Malad bar

On receiving information that both the Social Service branch and the local police had failed to act for months despite knowing about indecent activities taking place at a bar in Malad (West), the top cop ordered a team of south Mumbai cops to carry out a raid

In a move that exposes the cosy relationship that often exists between bar owners and the local police, Commissioner Rakesh Maria (in pic) ordered a team of south Mumbai cops to raid a Malad bar following reports of indecent activities taking place there.

Rakesh Maria
Rakesh Maria

Ten bar girls, a waiter and the bar manager were arrested in the raid, which was conducted on Tuesday. Sources told mid-day that Maria had bypassed both the Malad police and the Social Service branch, which is supposed to curb such activities and carry out such raids, to send a tough message across to his force that such behaviour will not be tolerated.

Officials said that Maria had received information from a trusted source that S K Bar in Malad (West) would stay open till very late in the night in violation of the mandated closing time, and that vulgar activities would take place there. The bar’s patrons, consisting mostly of youths, also allegedly caused nuisance for local residents.

The source had told Maria that this had been going on for several months and that the Social Service branch and the local police — the bar comes under the jurisdiction of Zone XI of the Mumbai had done nothing despite being aware of the violations.

Maria was infuriated and ordered DCP Sandeep Karnik to form a team and conduct a raid at the bar. DCP Karnik formed a team of two inspectors and constables from two police stations in Zone II (south Mumbai) and conducted the raid at 11.30 pm on Tuesday.

Ten bar girls, a waiter, and bar manager Anil Pujari were arrested by the team. A case was registered under Section 294 (obscene acts) and transferred to the Malad police for further investigations. Sources said that the action raises serious questions on the functioning of the Social Service branch and the Malad police, and that Maria has been known to take tough action against errant officials in the past.

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