Mira Bhayander: Hookah den raided for playing with fire; operator and other staff booked

Acting on a tip-off a team led by API Rameshwar Padwal under the instructions of Senior Police Inspector- Vijaysingh Bagal swooped down on-Hotel G.H. Café and Kitchen- an eatery located in the Gaurav Enclave area which doubled up as a hookah joint.

Suresh GolaniUpdated: Saturday, August 06, 2022, 07:21 PM IST
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Cracking a whip against illegal hookah joints in the twin-city, sleuths of the Mira Bhayandar-Vasai Virar (MBVV) police raided one such establishment in Mira Road and booked the operator and other staffers under section 285 of the IPC for negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible matter. This apart from slapping other relevant sections of the IPC and Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution Act) - (COPTA), 2003.

Acting on a tip-off a team led by API Rameshwar Padwal under the instructions of Senior Police Inspector- Vijaysingh Bagal swooped down on-Hotel G.H. Café and Kitchen- an eatery located in the Gaurav Enclave area which doubled up as a hookah joint. Apart from finding use of tobacco-laced hookah, the police team also observed charcoal burners in the hookah parlour which was operating from a congested section sans safety measures and without proper fire exits which could lead to fire traps in case of an emergency situation. While the operator identified as-Mujmil Ali Abdul Quadir (42) and waiters were taken into custody, soliciting customers were rounded up by the police team. Despite multiple raids, this hookah joint had brazenly continued with the illegality sans any permission from authorities.

Scores of illegal joints continue to operate in the twin-city under the garb of serving herbal tobacco-free hookah by obtaining licenses under the shops and establishment act without following any regulations. In the Kamala Mills case which claimed the lives of 14 people in 2017, the fire brigade’s report had clearly stated that flying embers from hookah charcoal was the source of the blaze.

Some bar and restaurants on the highway were bending Supreme Court guidelines to function as full-fledged hookah joints.

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