Cricketer Suresh Raina, interior designer Sussanne Khan and singer Guru Randhawa were booked and arrested for violations of lockdown norms after they were found partying at the Dragonfly Experience Club, an upscale hotel in Andheri in the wee hours of Tuesday. The police booked 34 people in all, including seven staffers, under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code, for violating social distancing norms. While the police have initiated action against the management, all the accused were later released on bail.
Acting on a specific information, Rajiv Jain, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone 2) instructed the officers to raid the premises of the Dragonfly Experience Club in Hotel JW Marriot near Terminal 2 of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA). Minutes into the raid, it was revealed that a party was underway at 2.50am, well beyond the time limit of 11.30pm fixed by the state government. Moreover, those in attendance were found not wearing masks.
Accordingly, the police registered a case and booked the 34 people present in the club, including seven staffers at the hotel, for violating social distancing and other Covid norms. Of the remaining 27 customers, 19 were from Delhi and Punjab, while the rest were from south Mumbai, said police sources. Rapper Badshah was also allegedly present at the party but managed to sneak out through the back gate, alleged sources.
"All the accused were booked under relevant sections of the IPC for disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant (section 188), whoever unlawfully or negligently does any act which is, and which he knows or has reason to believe to be, likely to spread the infection of any disease dangerous to life (section 269) and common intention (section 34)," said the Mumbai Police spokesperson. The accused were later released on bail, after issuing them notices under the CrPC.
"In view of this new strain of Covid, the state government has imposed night curfew and restrictions, while establishments like pubs and nightclubs have been instructed to shut within permissible time limits. When information was received that various night clubs were violating the restrictions and not adhering to social distancing guidelines, these raids were conducted," said Vishwas Nangre Patil, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime).
Meanwhile, the singer Randhawa issued a statement that read, "Randhawa, who had stepped out for dinner with close friends before returning back to Delhi the same morning, deeply regrets the unintentional incident that occurred last night. Unfortunately, he was not aware of the local authority's decision of night curfew but instantly conformed to all rules laid out by the government officials."
A statement was issued on behalf of the cricketer, too: “Suresh was in Mumbai for a shoot, which extended to late hours and was invited by a friend for a quick dinner post the same, prior to him taking his flight back to Delhi. He was not aware of the local timings and protocols."