Maharashtra: Residents help police bust hookah den in Bhayandar

Bhayandar: After the recent crackdown on illegal and immoral activities by the newly created Mira Bhayandar-Vasai Virar Police Commissionerate, miscreants have devised a novel way of running illegal hookah dens in private places, away from the prying eyes of the local cops.

The Navghar police busted a hookah den which was operating from a flat in Samruddhi Complex, one of the posh housing societies in the Indralok area of Bhayandar (east), during the wee hours on Friday. The action followed after residents of the complex informed the police about outsiders frequenting a flat on the fifth floor, apparently to enjoy hookah puffs without the fear of being caught.

A police team led by Senior Police Inspector Sampatrao Patil immediately swung into action and raided the flat. While three people – Nikhil Kodia (27), Ravi Kumar Batham (28) and Pawan Kumar Chandel (22) – were apprehended, the police team also seized hookah pots and different tobacco-laced flavours worth more than Rs 22,000 from the premises.

However, a video clip which went viral on social media platforms clearly showed that there were around 12 people in the flat including sons of local builders and politicians who were indulged in the prohibited acts. “Immediately after receiving the information, we conducted the raid but found only three people in the flat. However, the video is being screened to identify the other suspects. The process is underway to take appropriate action against the flat owner who allowed the illegal activities,” clarified, Sampatrao Patil.

Meanwhile, a case under the provisions of the Epidemic Act, Disaster Management Act and relevant sections of the IIPC and Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products Act (COPTA), 2003 has been registered against the accused. Further investigations were on.

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