The Kolkata Police initiated a major crackdown against hookah parlours which are running without having any valid licence and often violates the set norms.
A senior police officer said that the raids are being conducted based on tip-offs received by the police. “We are investigating to ascertain whether any particular person is behind all such bars and hookah parlours,” the officer said.
On wee hours of Tuesday, the police conducted raid in the Ozi Social Club situated on Chowringhee Road at Bhowanipore. The police found that a hookah parlour was being run in the club without having any valid license.
The police arrested 10 persons including the owner Aditya Bajaj, Vikash Sharma, Md. Qasim, Dinesh Dubey, Md Imran, Abhisek Tamang, Apurba Ruidas, Shekhar Yarmachetty, Kundan Ram and Md Shahrukh.
They were booked under certain Sections of the Indian Penal Code and Section 24 of the Cigarettes or Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003.
Police found the parlour was running even after midnight. The police asked the hookah parlour owner to show valid documents which are required to run the joint. But the owner failed to show the documents and henceforth was arrested. People who worked in the hookah parlour were also arrested.
It may be mentioned that the police had arrested 13 people including the manager of a bar and hookah parlour “Mocha” on AJC Bose Road on charges of running the parlour even after midnight and without any valid licence on December 2.
Police had conducted the raid acting of a tip-off and found more than 15 people present in the bar. They were taking alcohol while some of them were enjoying hookah. Around 22 litres of alcohol, some tobacco pots containing flavoured tobacco and hookah bases were seized.
The Bidhannagar Commissionerate had also initiated a crackdown on the dance bars on VIP Road. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had directed them to initiate a crackdown.
The Bidhannagar Commissionerate had also urged the state Excise department not to renew license of the dance bars and restro-bars which are situated in residential buildings and owners of which have criminal cases against them.