The owners allege that repeated raids by the cops in recent past have led to harassment and problems for them and their guests
The Hush Post: The booze lovers in Gurugram have a bad news for them. For the lovers of liquor, the weekend will likely to be a dry one as the owners of bars and pubs on the town’s MG Road have decided to keep their operations shut to press the administration to issue fresh guidelines. The move comes after a recent raid in the town when seven people, two of them nightclub owners, were arrested on the immoral trafficking charges.
The owners of bars and pubs on the MG Road have decided to keep their premises closed till fresh detailed guidelines are issued for operating their establishments. The Club owners on MG Road allege that repeated raids by the cops for the last some days have led to harassment and problems for them and their guests, a report said.
There are as many as 18 clubs and restaurants on the 2-km stretch of MG Road, including six night clubs in Sahara Mall and three at MGF Metropolitan Mall, it was reported.
A club owner, while representing the 18 clubs, met Gurugram Police Commissioner K K Rao on Thursday in this regard. “No illegal activities will be allowed in any club or restaurant across the city. We have tightened the noose on MG Road, as the residents have complained about obscene activities at shopping malls. The families say they find it difficult to even cross the stretch at nights due to the rowdy crowd visiting these malls,” Police Commissioner K K Rao was quoted in the report.
As many as seven people, two of them nightclub owners, were arrested on Tuesday night from MG Road on charges of immoral trafficking. Four police teams had raided the two nightclubs after receiving secret information, it was reported.
“We are going to keep our shutters down for at least one week so that it becomes clear as to what the police expects from us. We will be meeting excise officials on Friday to ask them to find a solution. New guidelines are needed because we are already following the rules and regulations as per the excise policy and are still harassed by the police. We will follow the new guidelines issued by the police,” another club owner was quoted as saying in the report. The club owners did not want to be named.
Meanwhile, the cops said they will not allow any illegal activity in the club, especially immoral trafficking, which has tarnished the reputation of MG Road. “No fresh guidelines are being issued. The club owners have to follow simple rules which are already in place. No criminal activity, violation of timings and immoral activity would be allowed in clubs on MG Road or any other area,” the police chief was further quoted as saying.
A licence fee of Rs 20 lakh has to be paid to run a pub or a club, another Rs 10 lakh per month has to be paid for an hour’s extension to the scheduled closing hour. The scheduled closing hour for all watering holes in the city is 12am. There are 205 pub/bars across the city, of which 32 have applied for additional one-hour operations, excise officials reportedly said.
“We have invested crores of rupees to set up clubs, but the police are now treating us unfairly. They have to understand that our establishments are legal and we are not committing any crime. The excise department has given us licences and permission to operate. If such harassment continues, we will be forced to stop our business,” another club owner, who was arrested on Tuesday and was next day released on bail, was quoted as saying.
It was reported that there are over 1,500 persons employed by pubs and bars on the MG Road and their livelihood is at risk. “What wrong have we done by setting up clubs? There are similar clubs in other areas of Gurugram, but they are not raided. The police need to fair and more balanced in their approach,” another club owner was quoted as saying in the report.