31 held during late-night raid at Pune hookah bar
The customers arrested are all below 30 years of age, and most of them are employed at various IT companies, the Pune cops said
A team of 10 constables, one assistant inspector and Sangvi police station senior inspector SA Mujavar raided Tim Luck Luck Hotel in Pimple Saudagar area around 1 am yesterday.
31 persons, including 9 women, were taken into custody for smoking hookah at the premises. While on night patrolling, cops had received information about this illegal operation.
Piped down: Patrons visiting the hookah parlour at Tim Luck Luck Hotel in Pimple Saudagar were arrested on Saturday night. Pic/Navnath Kaple
“We have arrested a total of 31 persons in this raid, of which 8 are hotel staffers and the rest are customers, who were caught red-handed smoking hookah.
The customers, whom we have taken into custody, are all below 30 years of age, and most of them are working professionals in various IT companies around the city; some are students,” said Mujavar.
“The owner of the hotel, Devendra Sachdev, is on the run, and we are searching for him. We have seized 12 hookah pots, flavored hookah essence, and other materials, worth Rs 6,800,” he added.
All the youngsters in custody were taken to YCM hospital for medical checkup yesterday morning, where it was established that all of them had smoked hookah.
The hotel, located bang opposite Akash Ganga Residency, has a permit for a beer bar. As it doesn’t have a hookah parlour license, all the accused were booked under section 4/21 of Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products Act, 2003.
When MiD DAY spoke to those arrested, one of the youngsters said, “We work in IT companies, and our shift gets over late at night. We had come to the hotel for having some food.” A few others too claimed that they were at the establishment for dinner and not for smoking hookah. Speaking on this issue, Mujavar said, “Our raid took place post midnight, and we found these people inside the hotel. Some of them were smoking hookah, and others were having dinner. But, all of them have been booked under section 33 (W) 131 of Bombay Police Act, for breaking the rule of getting into a hotel late at night. This section also applies to the owner of the hotel.”