Think twice before visiting a nightspot in Bhubaneswar. It may bring you more trouble if you are there after midnight. Led by Bhubaneswar deputy commissioner of police Nitinjeet Singh, the cops broke up a raucous party at a posh city hotel near Sriya Cine Complex on Saturday night and found the hotel’s nightclub overshooting the deadline of closing its establishment at 11pm.
Sources said the revellers were caught unawares by the raid that took place around 12.45am. The party participants included a minister’s son and some members of the Odia film fraternity. However, revelers, including some below 21-year-old students, heaved a sigh of relief after police let them off with a strong warning. The hotel was also simply served a notice by the police.
The commissionerate police have started regular check-ups on nightclubs and lounge bars in the wake of the June 21 firing in a bar at Laxmisagar. Accoding to recent law, while music could not be played after 10.30pm, serving liquor was a strict “no no” after 11.30pm.
The hospitality industry, however, reacted vehemently to cops playing party pooper. “If the cops start behaving like moral police, they are going to kill our business. They must be reasonable in implementing the laws and realise that it would be rude of us to ask our customers to leave immediately as the clock strikes 12 in the night,” said a pub owner, who fears loss of business.
According sources, the excise department has provided license to 52 liquor off-shops, eight country spirit counters, 24 hotels, 21 restaurants, eight beer parlours, one club and two military canteens to store and sell liquor in the city. But a number of dhabas and hotels here have been peddling liquor illegally, causing nuisance in public.