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Delhi: Action against six cops over hookah bars; three restaurants raided

Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik had directed the vigilance branch and public grievance (PG) cell of all 14 districts to conduct surprise raids in hotels and restaurants to check for the presence of active hookah bars.

Written by Mahender Singh Manral | New Delhi |
October 29, 2018 1:35:39 am
Delhi: Action against six cops over hookah bars; three restaurants raided Hookah bars were banned by the Delhi government, after it received a notice from the National Green Tribunal. (Representational Image)

Six policemen from northwest district have been sent to district lines after three restaurants in Mukherjee Nagar were found illegally operating hookah bars during a surprise raid.

DCP (northwest) Aslam Khan said, “We had conducted raids on two different occasions and found that hookah bars were running inside three restaurants. We have filed kalandras before a Delhi court, and have requested that appropriate legal action be taken against the alleged owners.”

Hookah bars were banned by the Delhi government, after it received a notice from the National Green Tribunal. Health Minister Satyendar Jain had said hookah smoking was not allowed in non-smoking zones as per Section 4 of COTPA (Cigarette and other Tobacco Products Act), as well as in smoking zones.

Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik had directed the vigilance branch and public grievance (PG) cell of all 14 districts to conduct surprise raids in hotels and restaurants to check for the presence of active hookah bars. He directed that if any hookah bar was found functional, strict departmental action would be initiated against the district SHO and beat staff concerned.

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Sources said district police units have started taking action, after Patnaik received complaints from several residents that many hookah bars are running in connivance with local police. Police said a few months ago, DCP Khan had met several RWAs and taken legal action against restaurants violating the norms.

“Khan received information a few days ago from one of the RWAs, complaining of hookah bars being run inside restaurants at Hudson Lane with alleged police connivance. A special team was formed and sent to raid these restaurants,” said a police officer.

Police said that in a raid conducted on October 24, hookah bars were found operating inside three restaurants. “The team tried to raid other restaurants as well, but they were shut. Later, police found that they had been tipped off about the raid via a WhatsApp group. Police recovered hundreds of hookahs from their premises,” the officer added.

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On Friday, another raid was conducted by the vigilance department of the northwest district on six-seven restaurants and hookah flavours were recovered.

Police said an internal enquiry was initiated after the raid, on the directions of DCP Khan. “Appropriate action will be taken against the officer concerned after the enquiry,” said an officer.

“Police is likely to send the report to licensing unit of Delhi Police and the civic agency, asking them to cancel licences of the restaurants and seal their premises,” the officer added.

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One of the complainants, Rajkumar Ahuja said, “We lived in Hudson Lane for 26 years. We complained several times about the restaurants, but no action was taken. We have shfited to Gurgaon as it was affecting my family.”

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First published on: 29-10-2018 at 01:35:39 am

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