A team of nearly 25 cops from Mira Bhayandar Vasai Virar (MBVV) commissionerate carried out raids at multiple joints at Rajodi beach late Wednesday night where youngsters were found making merry, in violation of the government’s pandemic rules.
The police team led by Deputy Commissioner of Police Sanjay Kumar Patil raided two food joints – Sea View dhaba and High Tide – at Rajodi beach around 9 pm.
Sources told mid-day that both places did not have the licence to serve liquor to customers. “At the time of the crackdown, customers were found consuming liquor at these illegal food joints at Rajodi beach. Customers generally walk in to these shacks with their own liquor and order spicy snacks and dinner,” the source said. After the raid, police registered two FIRs at Arnala police station.
“Two cases have been registered at Arnala police station against operators of these eateries and against customers for violating COVID-19 regulations and illegally consuming liquor. A total of 17 men have been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and relevant provisions of Prohibition Act,” Patil told mid-day.
Sources told mid-day that a group of hoteliers from Vasai Taluka had met police officers in Virar on Wednesday and were told to adhere to government rules and guidelines related to the pandemic. There are a few beachside dhabas and shacks that have been extending their seating arrangements towards the water where customers’ feet can touch the waves, said a source. However, after the police crackdown on Wednesday night, most of the illegal shacks and dhabas closed operations on New Year’s Eve.
General secretary of Vasai Taluka Hotel Association Nagraj Shetty said, “This police crackdown will be really helpful for legitimate hoteliers. Our business has gone up by 35 per cent as all the illegal food joints and shacks are shut. A few offenders have also submitted to the police in writing that they won’t run the illegal hotels. We urge the police to conduct surprise checks along the beaches, otherwise illegal business will come up again.”