Violation of lockdown norms: Gymkhana's committee, 50 others booked

Mumbai: The Marine Drive police have booked 70 persons, including the managing committee of Islam Gymkhana at Marine Lines, for allegedly organising a get together at the gymkhana on Saturday in violation of lockdown norms. The organiser of the gathering and the manager of the gymkhana have been arrested, while a search for other participants is currently underway, the police said.

According to the police, during night patrolling on Saturday, at around 9.30 pm, they heard loud noise emanating from the gymkhana. When the police team went to check, they allegedly came across 60-70 people having lunch together. Inquiries revealed that the gathering was organised without any requisite permission; nor was any prior intimation given to the local police station, the police officers said.

According to the police, a relative of one of the gymkhana’s members had tied the knot 2-3 months ago. However, since they could not hold a marriage reception then owing to the lockdown, a get together was organised on Saturday.

The organiser of the gathering, Anwar Abdul Chaudhary, 62, the manager of the gymkhana Hanif Hussain Shaikh, 44, and one Kalim Rehman Shaikh, 59, were brought to the police station and arrested under various sections of the Indian Penal Code. The trio was later allowed to go, after they were served a notice.

"Following the incident, we have registered an offence under the IPC sections of disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant (188), negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life (269) and under the Disaster Management Act," said Mrutunjay Hiremath, senior inspector of Marine Drive police station. 

The police have also cited in the FIR Islam Gymkhana's managing committee – without specifying its individual members -- as accused, along with 50 other participants. So far, the police have identified 19 participants, while another 50 are being identified with the help of video footage recorded at the gathering. 

"Former MLA Yusuf Abrani is the president of the gymkhana. However, his role, if any, is still being ascertained," said a police officer.

When contacted, Abrani told The Free Press Journal, “We don't allow any function to be held without police permission, we have also asked our members to take prior permission from the police before organising any event and maintain social distancing as well. If there is no permission for Saturday's event, then we will take action against the concerned member.”

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