A farewell party for a recently retired assistant commissioner of police, which was being held at a private farmhouse near Karjat, was raided by the Khalapur police in Raigad late on Saturday night.
The police, who were following up on a tip-off about drugs being used in the party, said they only found girls dancing to music and liquor being consumed without permits, and have arrested six people and detained 12 girls, including a Russian national.
The Khalapur police station received a tip-off that a “rave party” was underway in a farmhouse at Khalapur owned by a builder on Saturday evening. The police raided the farmhouse around 11.30 pm on Saturday.
“We found that the girls, including a Russian national, were dancing to music in the farmhouse. Suresh Pawar, who retired as assistant commissioner of police from Navi Mumbai on May 31 this year, was present along with several other men. The party was a farewell organised for him by his friends. We did not find any narcotics on the premises,” said sub-divisional police officer B P Kallurkar, Khalapur division.
The police took all the occupants of the farmhouse to the police station. The girls were charged under the Bombay Police Act for indecent behaviour and were released after being slapped with a fine of Rs 1,200 each. Further inquiries revealed that the revellers had not sought a permit for the liquor. Six of them were arrested and charged under the Maharashtra Prohibition Act, the police said.
“Pawar had not consumed any liquor and hence he was not made an accused in the case. The party had begun around an hour before we conducted the raid. Those arrested were produced in court on Sunday and were released on bail,” Kallurkar added.
An officer said those arrested were all businessmen from Navi Mumbai who know Pawar. They have been identified as Milind Pandit, Deepak Chaudhari, Ahmed Khan, Sanjay Chaudhari, Shekhar Devlekar and Samjay Kamat.
Pawar denied any connection to the party that was busted by the police. “I had come to the farmhouse for a party organised by my friends, while a separate group was partying at the farmhouse. I was leaving with my friends when the raid occurred and hence my name has figured in this controversy. I have been a responsible officer for 38 years and it would be absurd to connect me to something like this,” he claimed.
However, assistant inspector B R Hangirge, the investigating officer of the case, maintained that there was only one party under way at the farmhouse. “Even those arrested have said during questioning that they are Pawar’s friends and had come for his farewell party,” he added.