COVID-19 norm breach: 196 held for partying in Sakinaka

The Social Service (SS) branch of Mumbai police arrested at least 196 people for partying at hotels allegedly by violating the COVID-19 protocols in Sakinaka on Saturday night.

It is alleged that no social distancing norms and other guidelines were followed during the party and it was due to this reason, the raid was conducted, said police. The accused were later released after serving them notices, said police.

Acting on information, a team led by Deputy Commissioner of Police (Enforcement) Dr Raju Bhujbal along with sleuths of the SS Branch conducted raids at ‘Opa Bar and Cafe, and ‘Mitron’ Pub in Peninsula Grand Hotel situated in Sakinaka on Saturday night. A police team in plain clothes was first sent for verification whether norms were being flouted in the party. After the police team received a signal from the team, the raid was conducted at around 1 am on Sunday, said police.

“People were found dancing on the floor of the pub without following social distancing norms while in ‘Opa Bar and Cafe’, alcohol was being served to the customers. People present there were more than 50 percent of the permitted seating capacity,” said Dr Bhujbal. Recently, the state government has eased some of the restrictions imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19. It has allowed restaurants and bars to operate at 50 percent of the seating capacity from October 5 after the Centre relaxed the lockdown norms.

According to the police, during the raid, as many as 196 people including 171 male and female customers along with two owners, three managers, one cashier and 19 workers were held.

Following the raid, the Sakinaka police registered an offence and all the people were booked under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) Sections of disobeying public servant’s order (188), negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible matter (285) negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life (269) and endangering life or personnel safety of others (336) along with the section Epidemic Act and Disaster Management Act, said police.

The accused were later released after serving them notices, said police.

As per the civic body records, Mumbai reported as many as 903 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday taking its total positive count to 2,58,408. The coronavirus death toll in the city went up to 10,275 with 25 more patients succumbing to the disease in the past 24 hours.

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