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
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
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
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.”
The Koregaon Park police registered a case against event manager and DJ under sections 291 (continuance of nuisance after injunction to discontinue) and section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 37 of the Bombay Police Act.
Beer bottles, hookahs seized
An event raided in Bhugaon by the Pune rural police lead to seizure of large number of beer bottles and hookahs. Superintendent of Police (Rural) Manojkumar Lohiya said appropriate action was taken against the organisers.
The Holi party held at multi-cuisine New Sarovar restaurant in Bhugaon was raided by Deputy Superintendent of Police (Rural) Shivshankar Munde at 3 pm yesterday when actor Karan Kundra was about to make an appearance. Officials questioned restaurant owner Pappu Mankar and a manager, and asked them to furnish liquor licence.
Upon raiding the kitchen, officials discovered numerous crates of beer bottles and other spirits. They even found burnt silver foils, which smelled of hookah mix. The team then ordered the hotel staff to open all the storerooms, from which they confiscated hookahs and tobacco powder. The team then asked all the guests to vacate the premises then. — Inputs Prachi Bari