Pune: With a deadline of 11.30 pm put in place for restaurants and hotels to shut operations, moral policing by the Pune police is playing spoilsport for partygoers in the city. In the past three days, the police has raided Dhuva Restaurant and Hard Rock Cafe as they were operating after the stipulated deadline. The police have said that they will raid any club or restaurant if it is open after 11: 30pm.
The citizens, be it owners of restaurants, IT engineers or college students, are not happy with the new deadline.
Party revellers miffed
Omkar Chakraborty, an event manager, said, “IT engineers work all week and only get to unwind on the weekend so people actually start heading to the club around 10:30 pm leaving only an hour to spend at the club with the kind of deadline put in place. One hour is not enough for them to let their hair down and enjoy,” he added.
The police state security reasons to justify this new deadline but Chakraborty disagrees.
“Pune is comparatively safe for women. In fact, private companies provide buses for women employees so why this new rule? So is the claim to improve safety and reduce crime in the city just an eyewash?,” he said.
Tarini Mehta, an IT professional in her late twenties, said, “I have been going out with my friends since I was 18 and I am shocked how much Pune has changed. Moral policing in any form is not acceptable.”
Atharva Niyogi, an entrepreneur and owner of Groud Zero said that the police have other pressing issues to really concentrate on, which are causing inconvenience to the citizens. He said, “Isn’t there enough crime in the city for the police to focus on? Rather they are imposing unnecessary restrictions on partygoers.” He added that the police only do this for some positive attention to show citizens that they are doing something for the city.
It’s not just today’s youngsters, Puneites who have lived their college life in Pune find this restriction ridiculous.
Barkha Pendharkar, a resident of Kothrud, said, “Many private functions, weddings and parties go on till wee hours and they are real nuisance to the people living nearby. I went partying in my youth and I don’t remember the need of such sort of police interference, ever.”
In the past two months, the Lonavla police have conducted raids in their areas and busted illegal latenight parties. As many as 60 people including students were detained under relevant sections.
There have been previous incidents where the police have interrupted and stopped parties by seizing equipment of DJ playing in Koregaon Park, much to the anger of the partygoers. Last year too, the Pune rural cops busted a late night booze party at a farmhouse at Aapti Gevndi village near Pavananagar and claimed to have recovered Rs24 lakh, foreign-made liquor and contraceptives.
Deadline in other cities
Bangalore: 11 pm
Delhi and Gurgaon: 1 am
Mumbai: 1:30 am
Chennai: 11 pm