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Pune bar 'drug' video arrests rise to 14 as excise dept nabs 6 waiters

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Senjo M R
June 24, 2024 23:23 IST
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The number of arrests in connection with a probe into a viral video allegedly from a Pune bar reached 14 on Monday evening after six waiters of the eatery were nabbed by the Maharashtra excise department, officials said.

Image used for representational purpose only. Photograph: ANI Photo

Earlier, the police had arrested eight persons and suspended four personnel from the force after the bar was found operating beyond the permissible time limit.


The police had launched a probe after a viral video purportedly showed some persons with a drug-like substance at Liquid Leisure Lounge, also called L3, located on Fergusson College Road in Maharashtra's Pune city.

The eight persons, identified as Santosh Kamthe, Vitthal Kamthe, Yogendra Girase, Ravi Maheshwari, Akshay Kamthe, Dinesh Mankar, Rohan Gaikwad, Manas Mallick, were remanded in police custody till June 29 by a court here, the official said.

Citing the viral video, the prosecution told the court it had emerged through social media that the accused had given narcotic like substance to its patrons in the hotel and they want to probe the issue further.

Prima facie, it has been found that the accused used social media to invite patrons to the hotel to consume narcotics substances, alcohol and smoke cigarettes, the prosecution told court, adding police wants to probe further about these customers.

The police want to trace the youths as well as a minor seen in the viral video, it said in court.

According to the police, the bar was operating till 5 am on Sunday and liquor was being sold beyond permissible time limit. Bars and pubs in Pune are allowed to remain open till 1.30 am.

Later in the evening, the state excise department said it had suspended the licence of Liquid Leisure Lounge (L3) and also arrested six waiters there for allegedly flouting liquor stock norms.

They have been arrested under provisions of Maharashtra Prohibition Act, and have been remanded in custody till June 29.

The total number of arrests in connection with the viral video reached 14, officials said.

"We have arrested eight persons, including owners and employees of the Liquid Leisure Lounge (L3) after it came to light that the establishment was operating beyond the permissible time limit on Sunday," Pune Commissioner of Police Amitesh Kumar told PTI earlier in the day.

Those arrested have been booked under Indian Penal Code section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and relevant provisions of the Maharashtra Police Act, Maharashtra Prohibition Act, and the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, he said.

An inspector, an assistant inspector and two beat marshals from the Shivajinagar police station, who were on night duty, have been suspended in connection with the case, he said.

Earlier in the afternoon, members of right wing outfit Patit Pavan Sanghatana allegedly damaged the board of the bar, pelted stones at the bar and broke plant pots kept outside the establishment, a police official said.

Meanwhile, first time Pune MP and newly-appointed Union minister Murlidhar Mohol in a post on X said though the action of suspension has been taken immediately, the police commissioner has also been instructed to launch a dedicated drive against narcotics and depute separate manpower for it.

"All colleges, pubs, hotels and other suspicious places should be searched with strict action. Police have been instructed to go to the root to see how drugs are available in the city," Mohol said.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Senjo M R© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.