Mumbai: Civic body demolishes bar outside which scribes were assaulted

Jul 29, 2015, 06:43 IST | Shirish Vaktania

The Mira-Bhayander Municipal Corporation demolished part of White House Bar, outside which two journalists were assaulted during a police raid two weeks ago and near which another journalist was found dead little later

The civic authorities in Mira Road demolished part of the bar outside which two journalists were assaulted two weeks ago when they were covering a police raid, and near which another scribe was found dead hours after the raid. mid-day had reported on the death and attacks on July 18.

A portion of White House bar in Mira Road (East) was demolished yesterday. Pic/Sharad Vegda
A portion of White House bar in Mira Road (East) was demolished yesterday. Pic/Sharad Vegda

The incident had occurred in the wee hours of July 17, when two journalists Santosh Mishra and Shashi Sharma had gone to White House Bar in Mira Road (East) to cover a police raid. They alleged that the bar staff had assaulted them. Hours later, another local journalist, Raghvendra Dubey, had been found dead near the same bar.

Dubey had just left the Kanakia police station (also known as Mira Road police station) where several of those detained in the raid had been present. Police had later said the murder and the assaults were also connected (‘Attack on journalists and Dubey’s murder connected: Police’, July 19).

The decision to demolish part of the bar was taken after hundreds of journalists protested outside the White House Bar a few days ago. A civic officer said a portion of the bar had been constructed illegally and that they had issued a notice in 2014 to the owners asking them to demolish the part, but they did not do it.

According to Chandrakant Borse, who heads the Encroachments department of the local civic body and is the officer in charge of demolitions, “We have not fully demolished White House Bar but only the illegal parts. The police informed us about the illegal activities going on inside the bar and we took action.”

Mahesh Shetty, the owner of another bar nearby called Love Bird, has been arrested for allegedly murdering Dubey. Suhas Bavache, deputy superintendent of police, told mid-day, “We have arrested four people, including the owner of Love Bird, for the murder of journalist Dubey.

We also suggested the collector and the municipal corporation cancel the licences of both bars (White House and Love Bird). The civic body, collector, and Excise department will take the final decision.” Love Bird has not been demolished yet. 16 people have been arrested for the assault on the two journalists.

Police claimed there are more than 100 bars in Mira Road and they have taken action against some as well, but added that the collector or the Excise department had not cancelled the licences of these establishments in the last few years.

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