How to celebrate birthday in times of COVID-19 outbreak: A sword, 25 cakes and cops

While birthday celebrations amid the COVID-19 pandemic are relatively muted affairs, and lack their customary trappings, a Bandra resident determined to usher in his 25th birthday in style was arrested by the police on Monday for taking things a bit too far. Not only were social distancing norms violated with 30 guests invited for his party, there were 25 cakes laid out before the birthday boy, which he cut into using a sword.

While the party took place on Saturday, the incident was reported by a social activist, who posted a video of the celebrations on a social networking site. The police then took note of the incident, leading to arrest of the youth, Haris Khan. The other guests who attended the party were also booked for violating lockdown norms.

The police said Khan, a Bandra resident, had gathered along with over 30 people for his birthday celebrations on Saturday night on the terrace of Al-Hilal Building. There were 25 cakes arranged for Khan to ring in his birthday, which he cut using a sword in the presence of his friends. This was captured in a video which soon went viral on social media.

A day later, the video was seen by a social activist, who immediately reported it, as none of those in attendance were seen wearing a mask or maintaining social distancing. The activist tagged the Mumbai Police Twitter handle, who sent a team to enquire with Khan.

How to celebrate birthday in times of COVID-19 outbreak: A sword, 25 cakes and cops

The Bandra Police questioned him and verified the authenticity of the video, following which Khan and 30 of his friends were booked for violating curfew and social distancing norms while gathering in a crowd of more than four people.

Abhishek Trimukhe, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone 9) said Khan and 30 of his friends were booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code, Arms Act and Maharashtra Police Act for disobedience of police orders, negligent act and using a weapon, and Khan was placed under arrest. Bandra Police have also recovered the sword which was used to cut the cake, and a further probe is underway.

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