The Mumbai Police cracked down on an early morning party at the Dragonfly Pub in JW Marriot and booked at least 34 persons, including some celebrities like former India cricketer Suresh Raina, for allegedly violating Covid-19 protocols, a top official said here on Tuesday.
Joint Police Commissioner Vishwas Nangre-Patil said that the raid was carried out at around 3 a.m. jointly by Gamdevi and Sahar police stations after a large number of people were found partying without maintaining protocols like wearing masks and observing physical distancing.
He made it clear that it was not a ‘drugs or a rave party bust’, but concerned about the violations of late-night restrictions and not adhering to Covid protocols.
Though Nangre-Patil declined to take any names of the persons arrested, official sources said among them were cricketer Suresh Raina, singer Guru Randhawa, Susanne Roshan Khan, while another prominent singer reportedly managed to escape through a backdoor. Some other girls who attempted to flee the spot were stopped by the police team.
The police said that of the 34 persons who have been booked include 7 hotel staffers and 27 customers, including 19 outsiders from New Delhi and Punjab, and the rest from Mumbai, including several celebrities from the film and glamour world.
In a statement, Raina said that he was in Mumbai for a shoot which extended till late and he was invited by a friend for a quick dinner prior to his return flight to Delhi early on Tuesday.
He claimed that he was not aware of the local timings and protocols, but once it was pointed out, he immediately complied with the procedures.
Raina expressed regrets over “the unfortunate and unintentional incident” and assured me that he always holds the highest regard for the laws of the land and will continue to do so.
“Offences registered under Indian Penal Code Sections 188, 269 and NDMA Section 51 against 34 persons after a raid carried out at 2.50 a.m. at the Dragonfly Pub for keeping the establishment open beyond permissible time-limit, not following Covid-19 norms such as social distancing, and not wearing face masks,” a Mumbai Police spokesperson said earlier.
Nangre-Patil said that all the accused were released after getting notices under CrPC Section 41(A)(1), while some of the people from north India left for Delhi by a morning flight.
The Mumbai Police have intensified vigil after Monday night’s decision of the state government to impose a 7-hour night curfew in the jurisdictions of 27 municipal corporations, including BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation, starting from December 22.