Fed up with the high crime rate and illegal activities in Thane, the area’s top cop KP Raghuvanshi has swung into action and ordered a massive clean-up drive in the area.
According to his orders, all dance bars, lodges that rent out rooms to couples, gambling dens and country liquor businesses have been shut down. And in an attempt to ensure that this happens, two police constables have been reportedly posted in every bar and hotel.
A police officer from Crime Branch said, “There are at least 125 dance bars in Thane out of which only 50 have licences for an orchestra bar but they run dance bars. However, ever since the announcement for Mumbai’s police commissioner was made, all illegal businesses have stopped in Thane.”
No room for love
Another official chimed in that even orchestra bars that have valid licences have been asked to stop services and only provide patrons with beer for the time being.
According to officials, couples seeking some private time often use the motels in the area. However, these rooms are often misused for illegal activities such as prostitution and hence, officials have been asked to ensure that such premises stay shut.
Even owners of the motels are complaining that their businesses have been affected owing to the new orders.” Though couples are ready to provide identification, we can’t rent out the rooms, as police constables are always posted at the premises,” said Shetty, owner of a popular motel in Ambernath.
Some officials on the condition of anonymity speculated that the massive clean-up drive was being carried out as the race for Mumbai’s police commissioner was heating up and that Raghuvanshi was being seen as one of the top contenders for the prestigious post. “Raghuvanshi Saheb is afraid that someone from Mumbai’s Special Branch (SB) might raid an illegal premises in Thane area and will spoil his chances of becoming the commissioner. Our DCP has issued a circular asking us to post two police constables in civil dress at beer bars and motels to ensure that no illegal activity takes place. They have been posted there since Ganpati,” said an officer from Ulhasnagar police station.
However, when MiD DAY approached KP Raghuvanshi, he said, “There is no truth in the report that two police constables have been posted at beer bars and lodgings.”