LIV accused seek to turn tables on cops
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The controversy surrounding LIV Pub, Kala Ghoda, just snowballed with co-owner and a senior Bombay High Court lawyer alleging manhandling of women patrons during a raid on October 26.
Hritik Bhasin and lawyer Archit Jaykar have claimed in their anticipatory bail applications (ABAs) that while the pub-owners and patrons were well within boundaries of law, it was police (15 officers) who misbehaved with women.
The ABAs claim for the first two hours between 11.30 pm and 1.30 am, no woman constable was available and women patrons were left at the mercy of policemen on duty. While Hritik evokes the November 26, 2008, terror attack, during which he reportedly saved a few lives at the Taj hotel, Archit, son of famous actor Smita Jaykar, was an MNS candidate in the 2009 assembly elections.
Meanwhile, MRA Police, who raided the pub, justified the rounding up of around 200 partying patrons.
"Around 200 patrons entered the pub at 11 pm and the cops arrived at around 11.45 pm. The moment police entered, I asked the manager to stop the music and patrons to exit. The moment patrons left, several policemen rounded them up," Hritik has said in his application.
He claims the patrons were made to stay up at the police station because "DCP was arriving". However, he claims, DCP did not show up and most women rounded up at the pub felt harrowed and some broke down.
The application further says the detainees were made to wait in the police station compound from 2.30 to 4 am. It was during this time that some of the patrons got into arguments with police and pushed open the gates to the police station compound and fled.
But police said Hritik and Archit tried to negotiate after the raid and indulged in an altercartion and roughed up some policemen. They were booked under several IPC sections for attacking public servants discharging duty.
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