When the beat constable noticed an unusual spike in the numbers of cars parked in the otherwise sleepy stretch in outer Delhi’s Paschim Vihar on Tuesday night, he knew something was amiss. The sound of banging music confirmed his doubts — a party was in full swing at a club and lounge. The club’s name: Playgue.
Around 10 pm, a raid, headed by SHO Paschim Vihar (east), resulted in the arrest of 31 people, including the owner and his brother. DCP (Outer) Dr A Koan said, “The owner Lovish Khurana and his brother Kashish Khurana, who were present at the club at the time, have been arrested under various IPC sections, Excise Act, Epidemic Act, Disaster Management Act, and Cigarette & Other Tobacco Products Act. Other 29 people are out on bail.”
A police officer said that during interrogation, it was found that Tuesday was the first day the owner had reopened the bar and lounge since the lockdown. The DCP said that 77 bottles of beer, seven bottles of different hard liquor, and eight hookahs were recovered.
“A day before the party, the organiser, who was not present at the venue at the time of raid, made a WhatsApp group and messaged its members about the party. During night patrolling, the beat constable noticed many cars parked outside, and people walking in and out,” said the officer.
The officer said that the party probably started around 4 pm, and many people had left before the raid. As per the FIR, the Khurana brothers were asked to produce the liquor licence, but they didn’t have one. “They have applied for one, we have been told. But it doesn’t matter as bars and lounges aren’t allowed to operate right now. There was no social distancing being followed, and no one was wearing masks. As soon as people spotted police, they covered their faces with masks, napkins,” said the officer.
During interrogation, the owner is learnt to have told the police that as business had suffered since March, he decided to “take a chance by opening it, and to ‘figure things out’ if the police found out”.
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