More than 100 boys and girls from reputed schools across the city were caught drinking and smoking hookah and cigarettes at a pub in DLF City Centre Mall on Sunday.
Police and excise department officials raided a 'sex-and-smoke' themed birthday party - hosted by one of the students - at the Buzz-in pub and lounge that was serving alcohol to children aged 14 to 18 years, all way below the legal drinking age of 25. The police closed the pub down and arrested its manager.
This is the second time the police have raided a pub in Gurgaon and found minors drinking. On December 25, 2010, it had spotted 80 students in a pub in Sahara Mall, which was subsequently sealed but just for a few days. The pub owner got away with a fine of Rs. 80,000.
With many pubs dotting Gurgaon's mall mile, competition is fierce and checking for underage drinkers not much of a priority.
"We raided the pub and were shocked to find a large crowd of minors drinking and smoking. I have ordered the arrest of the bar owner, Milap Singh," said joint commissioner of police Maheshwar Dayal, who led the police team on Sunday.
"We have challaned the pub under the excise Act," said excise inspector Subhash Kaushik.
The party was in full swing when the raid team crashed it at 4pm. The children were detained and made to register their names, addresses and dates of birth with the police. They were let off after their parents were called.
Many of the school children feigned ignorance of what was going on and denied being part of the party. "I just came to visit the place and have fun but I was not part of the party. Now the police have detained me too," said a 14-year-old boy from Palam Vihar.
Another said he had no idea that alcohol would be served.