Pune Bar Case: Owners Protest Demolition Of Property, Ask 'What Is Our Mistake?'

Pune Bar Case: Owners Protest Demolition Of Property, Ask 'What Is Our Mistake?'

The number of arrests in connection with this probe has reached 14

Ankit ShuklaUpdated: Tuesday, June 25, 2024, 06:05 PM IST
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Pune Bar Case: Owners Protest Demolition Of Property, Ask 'What Is Our Mistake?' |

Owners of a property on Pune's Fergusson College Road, housing a bar named Liquid Leisure Lounge (L3), are protesting against its demolition. The bar gained attention following a viral video showing youths with a substance resembling drugs. The footage depicted individuals holding a powdery substance amidst loud music and dancing, violating the permissible time limits for bar operations in the city.

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Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde spoke to Pune Police Commissioner Amitesh Kumar on Monday and directed him to initiate strict action against illegal pubs and demolish all structures flouting building rules. "Strict action should be taken against illegal pubs to make Pune city drug-free. Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has instructed Pune Police Commissioner Amitesh Kumar that bulldozers should be moved on illegal constructions related to drugs," said the CMO statement.

On Tuesday, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) officials, along with the police, were present near L3 but did not carry out any demolition due to protests from its owners. However, the excise department seized 241 litres of foreign liquor and other materials valued at ₹3 lakh from the bar. They also suspended the bar license for allegedly making internal changes to a permit room in the establishment.

Speaking to The Free Press Journal, the owners of the property, Pratik Kamthe and Siddhanth Kamthe, clarified that they have no relation with Akshay Kamthe, an event organiser who brought 40 to 50 youths to L3 for a late-night party. According to the police, he managed to get the main door of the bar closed and allowed the youths to enter from the back door. Police said the party started after 1:30am on Sunday and continued for several hours. Before partying at L3, the group had another party in the Hadapsar area, they said.

Pratik Kamthe said, "We want to tell the police that we have no relation with Akshay Kamthe. This property has been with us since 1995, and we have been paying taxes regularly. How can this building be illegal? We had leased out this property, and as owners, what is our fault in this? Are we supposed to check if someone has brought drugs or not? My uncle is in police custody and he is a patient of sclerosis. If anything happens to him, who will take responsibility? Besides, it is mentioned in the agreement that even if the owner has to visit the property, he will have to give prior intimation. We have all the documents with us," he added.

Meanwhile, the number of arrests in connection with this probe has reached 14. Earlier, the police had arrested eight persons and suspended four personnel from the force. Additionally, the Maharashtra excise department has suspended two of its inspector-rank officers for alleged dereliction of duty.

Cops detain 2 persons from Mumbai

The Pune police have detained two persons from Mumbai in connection with the alleged use of drugs at L3, Pune Police Commissioner Amitesh Kumar said on Tuesday. "We have detained from Mumbai a total of two persons who were seen in the viral video with the drugs-like substance," he said.

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