'Cops arrested our staff since we complained against them'
Amar Juice Centre owner says police action against 12 workers for operating business from footpath smacks of vindictiveness; arrests came after eatery alleged that ACP Dhoble and other officials assaulted its manager
It has emerged that the night before MiD DAY reported about a senior cop entering the popular Amar Juice Centre in Vile Parle and allegedly thrashing the manager with a hockey stick and threatening the staff, the police booked about 12 workers from the eatery. On Thursday night, officials from Juhu police station, which is nearest to the restaurant, arrested the workers for illegally running business from a footpath and allegedly creating nuisance in the area. Arun Bhagat, senior inspector, Juhu police station said, “We have arrested a few men from Amar Juice Centre as they were found violating the law by running a business on footpath. We have fined them for the breach, as misuse of public roads creates traffic snarls.”
The eatery’s owner Tushar Joshi claimed that the crackdown was a reaction to his complaint against ACP Vasant Dhoble and some other cops who allegedly bashed the manager. Joshi said, “I am sure this is because we complained to the home minister and the commissioner regarding the high-handedness of a few cops. To get back at us, the cops arrested and fined our men. We paid a fine of Rs 14,400; Rs 1,200 each for the 12 staff members who were arrested on Thursday night.”
Joshi added, “We know that the arrests have been made because we went to the media. But we will not keep quiet and will even move court if needed.” MiD DAY had reported in its edition yesterday (‘Bar-raider cop attacks juice centre with hockey stick’) that Dhoble, attached to the Social Service (SS) branch, created an uproar with his high-handedness and threatening conduct at the restaurant on April 15, when he, accompanied by 8-10 men, arrived at the eatery during peak business hours in civilian clothing, and started the alleged violence in front of patrons.