Wary that information about their planned crackdown on a hookah parlour in Vimannagar would be leaked, top police officials like the Additional Commissioner of Police Prakash Mutyal and Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone IV) Manoj Patil kept the Vimantal police in the dark about the operation, and took officers from Bhosari police station of Zone III with them to raid a hotel in the posh locality, early on Sunday. They managed to arrest 51 persons, including eight girls and 31 boys — all students of reputed colleges in the city — who were consuming alcohol and using hookahs.
Seized: The police seized liquor bottles in huge numbers and hookahs from the spot. Pic/Mohan Patil
After conducting the raid with the help of the Bhosari police station in-charge, Chandrakant Bhosale and his staff, the case investigation has now been handed over to Mundhwa police station in-charge J S Pathan.
The raid was conducted at a hotel by the name of Dhuvva di Kabab Hut, located on the terrace of Royal Towers in Krishna chowk, Vimannagar, at 3 am on Sunday. The police seized liquor bottles in huge numbers and hookahs from the spot. The hotel owner Nitesh Baban Tupe (27), a resident of Hadapsar, and his other 11 staff members, along with 39 customers, were arrested on charges of illegally selling and consuming alcohol and hookah.
A case has been registered against the 51 suspects under sections 33(w) (power to make rules for presentation of order in public place) and 131 (contravening rules) of the Bombay Police Act, section 4 (advertisement of cigarettes and other tobacco products) of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act 2003 and section 65(e) (illegal import of intoxicant), 68(a)(b) (opening of common drinking house), 83 (conspiracy), 84 (being found drunk in any drinking house) of the Bombay Prohibition Act.
Additional CP Mutyal said, “One of the customers had information about this hotel last week. We verified the information and decided to raid the hotel premises.”
DCP Manoj Patil said, “The help of other police stations was taken so that information about the raid would not be leaked. Initial investigations have revealed that the owner of Dhuvva hotel has been booked three times earlier, but it did not prove to be a deterrent.”
Investigating Officer PI Pathan said, “The boys and girls are students of colleges like Symbiosis and Sinhagad Institute. They have come from different states to study in the city. The accused were granted magisterial custody by the court of Judicial Magistrate (First Class) here, on Sunday evening.”
“While choosing any hotel to party, citizens should check whether it has necessary licences and permits to serve liquor. The hotel owners should also display their licences at the counters. This prior check will save citizens from legal trouble later on,” appealed Additional Commissioner of Police Prakash Mutyal Mutyal.