Police Admit That Liv Raid Was Badly Handled
In September, the city’s party goers heaved a sigh of relief on learning that club-raiding ACP Vasant Dhoble would not only be transferred out of the Social Services Branch, but also that chief minister Prithviraj Chavan claimed he was committed to lifting Mumbai’s nightlife to “foreign” standards.
Judging by Saturday’s raid on Kala Ghoda night club Liv, Chavan seems to have made good on his promise…if by “foreign” he perhaps meant Tehran. Policemen detained nearly 200 people and herded them off to the Crawford Market police station on the grounds that the club was open beyond the 1.30am deadline. According to this report, Ritik Bhasin, one of the partners at Liv, and Archit Jayakar, a lawyer and the general secretary of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’s youth wing, argued with the cops while the restive crowd of clubbers dramatically broke out. Now Additional Commissioner of Police Krushna Prasad has admitted that the cops handled the situation badly.
Neha Mehta (name changed on request), a 25-year-old fashion designer, said that the police were needlessly aggressive. “They said, ‘We’re cops we can touch whoever we want.’” she said. “It was the most ridiculous thing I’ve experienced.” One of the last people to be taken to the police station, Mehta said she remained in the van as the compound of the station was too crowded. “Media vans arrived at around 3.30am,” Mehta said. “There were cameras taking video. The policemen loosened their grip on the gate and the crowd pushed the gate and ran.”
Ajay Shah (name changed on request) was celebrating his birthday at Liv when the raid was carried out. Like Mehta, he witnessed the drama unfolding at the police station from the police van. “I tried to speak to the cops,” he said. “I showed them my drinking permit. I tried to level with them, ‘Why are you detaining me?’ They refused to give any answers. They were threatening.” After convincing a policeman guarding the van to let him visit the toilet, Shah stepped out and realised that he could escape. “I got a cab,” he said. “I tried to get my friends out [of the van]. In that chaos, the whole [van] got out. We saw people from the other [van] also leaving. Everyone ran in their own directions. I got into a cab with seven people and bailed.”
Cops bungled SoBo lounge action, admits additional CP [The Times of India]Tags: ACP Krushna Prasad, Archit Jayakar, Liv, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, MNS, Mumbai Police, Nightlife, Ritik Bhasin, Vasant Dhoble