After receiving several complaints from parents of teenagers about their children attending parties where alcoholic drinks flow freely, the Social Security Cell of the police on Saturday night busted a booze binge at a well-known lounge in Koregaon Park and found 700 to 800 underage partygoers.
The police said the children were aged between 15 and 19 years and were from various schools in the city. They said some of the parents of the children who were at the party made up the who’s who of the city.
Considering their age, the children were let off with a warning. The police said their parents were reprimanded for not keeping their children in control. Two party organisers were arrested for allowing the underage students entry to the party and giving them alcohol.
The arrested persons were identified as Darshit Bharat Chowhan (20), a resident of Shaniwar Peth, and Ashish Limaye (19) of Karvenagar. “In the past few days, we received more than 15 complaints from some parents that their children were attending parties where liquor is served abundantly,” Police Inspector BhanuPratap Barge said. “Some parents even complained that if they try to restrain their kids, they turn violent and try to hurt themselves or go about damaging the furniture in the house.”
He said the police acted on a tip-off to bust the Koregaon Park party. “We received a tip-off that one such party had been organised at a well-known lounge where more than 700 boys and girls students from Std VII to XI from various schools in Pune were supposed to attend,” he said. “The partygoers started pouring in at the lounge from 2 pm, but the party organisers allowed them inside the lounge only after 4 pm.”
Barge said the raid began at 5.30 pm and the evidence of underage drinking was not hard to find. “We raided the party around 5.30 pm and after entering the lounge, we were very much shocked to see young kids in an inebriated condition,” he said. “In that state, some of them were indulging in obscene acts.”
He said the place was meant for only 200 people but more than 700 people were crowding the lounge. When the police began taking action, five of the seven organisers managed to escape.
“The entry fee for the party was Rs 400 each,” a police official said. “The drinks and snacks were not to be charged for as long as the partygoers did not go to the washroom. The organisers had put a condition where if somebody goes to the washroom, he or she will have to pay for any further drinks. Such parties are called ‘Gladder Burst Parties’ in the party circles.”
The two arrested organisers were handed over to the Mundhwa police station. “We will be producing them in court on Monday,” Police Inspector V Ghanwat said. Director of Dnyandevi Childline, Anuradha Sahastrabuddhe said that parents of teenage children should be more of a friend and guide to them, teaching them how to handle peer pressure and how to say no.
She said if parents and children share a good bond then understanding whether a child is being influenced by undesirable company at an early stage becomes easy. She said Childine also received calls from parents appealing for help to de-addict their children.