Angry mobs ransack Mumbai hotels, wreck New Year's eve parties

Jan 02, 2014, 10:54 IST | Saurabh Vaktania

Furious at the overcrowding, food and drink shortage, and overall mismanagement by event organisers, the crowds unleashed their wrath, breaking furniture, cutlery, chandeliers and music equipment

These were New Year’s Eve parties from hell for two luxury hotels in the city, as irate mobs destroyed furniture, cutlery and other items on the premises. The crowds were miffed at the mismanagement that had led to a shortage of food and drink. For the two events, passes were sold both physically and online.

In their anger over the mismanagement, revellers broke bottles, lights etc at Tulip Star.

Mayhem at Juhu
At the New Year’s party organised at Tulip Star, Juhu, regular passes were sold for Rs 2,000, while VIP and VVIP passes went for Rs 4,000 and Rs 8,000 respectively. It was supposed to be a lawn party by the pool. According to police sources, permissions from Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, police, and traffic department had been acquired by the management.

Party-goers make their way through broken furniture at Tulip Star, Juhu. Revellers argue with policemen at the venue

However, the capacity of the lawn was below 2,000, while 6,000 passes had been distributed. Ravi Ranjan, a software engineer who, along with his 18 friends, had bought passes for the event, said, “When we reached the place, it was completely packed. There was no place to enter. We just had one drink after which they went out of stock. Food and soft drinks too had run out. The organisers were nowhere to be seen.”


No food, drinks
Jignesh Bhutta, a Borivli resident and a businessman, had attended the party with 12 family members. “We had bought passes a few days back. We had even bought new clothes for the occasion. The event organisers had promised us a full dinner, alcohol and DJ till 5 am in the morning,” said Bhutta.

He added, “We reached at 10.15 pm and saw a huge crowd. People came outside and tore their passes. They said everything was out of stock, including food and drinks. The DJ had been playing a single track and he too had escaped. Angry with the mismanagement, people outside took to vandalising. They broke LEDs, lights and whatever else they could get their hands on. We were disappointed and went back home.”

Senior police inspector Arun Chavan of Santacruz police station said, “We have lodged an FIR under section 420 of IPC against unknown accused. We have taken statements of more then 50 people and are investigating the case.”

Pandemonium in Powai
The party at Renaissance, Powai was organised by Mokshiva Entertainment (as per the entry pass). It even promised “incredible visuals, light shows, fireworks, unlimited premium alcohol and a 10-course meal buffet.” A DJ session was also promised. According to a woman who attended the party, passes were being sold for varied prices. “There was no mention of the price of the pass. I bought it for Rs 3,500 and I saw some others buy it for Rs 5,500,” said the attendee who didn’t wish to be named.

The passes for the event at Renaissance, Powai did not have any price printed on them

Jerry Fernandes brought along a family of seven people, including two children, and bought entry tickets for Rs 5,500. He said, “This is was the first time we had decided to go for such an event. We reached there after 11, but there was no place to stand; it was so crowded. Once we reached inside, the food counter had no food, drinks were out of stock and there was a lot of commotion.”

Fernandes added, “A young woman went to the food counter and kicked it. People standing around applauded her and everyone else followed suit. People were breaking whatever they could find.” Another attendee at the party said, “Lights, chandeliers, cutlery, sofas, people were breaking and throwing everything. It was quite a dangerous sight.” Police reached the spot around 12 am. Fernandes regrets having bought the passes, “Never will I ever go for such a party.

This was the first and the last experience. I just want my money back.” Senior police inspector YL Jadhav from Powai police station said, “We have lodged a case against the Mokshiva management under sections 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 336 (endangering life or personal safety of others) and 427 (mischief causing damage) of the Indian Penal Code. The venue had an approximate capacity of 2,000. Too many passes were sold online and thus, it got overcrowded. No arrests have been made yet.” The organisers of neither party could be reached for comment.

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