The last-minute order from district collector to cancel all police permissions given to party organisers, and a special drive by state excise officials to check liquor licences, played spoilsport for Holi celebrations in the city yesterday.
As a repercussion of these orders, almost all the parties in Koregaon Park were cancelled on Sunday night. Those organisers who defied the orders had to face the music from the excise and police officials.


Shutters down: Revellers say a message was circulated on WhatsApp about parties being cancelled. But, since Hotel Green Plaza decided to go ahead with its plans, at least 3,000 people had turned up for the event. Another 500 were waiting outside. The venue was later raided by excise and police officials. Pic/Mohan Patil

Fleecing
A student who witnessed the raid on Hotel Green Plaza, lane number 4, in Koregaon Park, said, “A message was circulated on WhatsApp about parties being cancelled. But, since this hotel decided to go ahead with its plans, at least 3,000 people had turned up for the event. Another 500 were waiting outside. Initially, the organisers issued R300 entry pass per person, but as the crowds swelled, the amount spiralled to R1,000. I was part of the event. When a few of us complained about overcrowding, we were informed that since most of the events in the area had been called off, revellers were flocking to the hotel.”


Taking charge: Officials seize liquor bottles from Hotel Green Plaza at lane number 4 in Koregaon Park yesterday

‘Party poopers’
Local residents Santosh Kale alleged that the event organisers had licence to serve liquor. Seconding his opinion, another resident Vikrant Bhilare said, “Since the hotel lacked parking space, its guests parked their vehicles haphazardly on the road. Being a ‘silence zone’ and a residential area, the organisers failed to abide by the norms. So, we had to call the police to stop the party.”


A traffic constable regulates vehicles after visitors parked their cars  haphazardly outside the hotel, resulting in massive jams. Pics/Mohan Patil

Officials speak
Inspector UV Dubal, in-charge of the Koregaon Park police station, said, “The organisers had necessary permissions before we received fresh orders from the district collector. These were conveyed to all the event organisers. While most of them abided, event organisers at Hotel Green Plaza kept blaring music and served liquor on their premises. We are registering a case against them in this regard.” Excise Superintendent (Pune) AB Chaskar said, “We instructed our officers to maintain vigil and initiate action against offenders.”