New Year’s eve: State police, forest department declare forts no-go zones
To prevent any violence and maintain the forts, state police, this year, has decided not to allow New Year’s eve celebrations on forts.pune Updated: Dec 28, 2017 16:51 IST
For the last few years, the trend has been to bring in the New Year in by the lakesides or on several forts in and around Pune and Mumbai.
However, these overenthusiastic revellers are often involved in drunken brawls with local villagers and officials. Last year, tourists reported cases where they were heckled by villagers and self-proclaimed fort lovers.
To prevent any violence and maintain the forts, state police, this year, has decided not to allow New Year’s eve celebrations on forts. The forest department has also announced that it will prevent people from going to forts in Pune and the neighbouring districts on December 31.
According to Vishwas Nangare Patil, inspector-general of police, Kolhapur range, there is need to maintain the sanctity of forts. “We have decided to file complaints against those organising parties or celebrations on forts without any permission,” said Nangre Patil on Wednesday.
Police are also upping their presence at hill stations like Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar.
Amol Ade, range forest officer (RFO) at Rajur division, said, “We have a staff of six officers and it’s not sufficient to prevent people from parting.So we have conducted a meeting in nearby villages and we have asked unit of 20-25 villagers to help us track down the troublesome people.”
“The route from Pachnai to Harishchandragad will be closed after sunset and no one will be allowed to stay or camp on the fort. We will keep a night vigil at the fort,” Ade said.
Last year, Pune police arrested nine people, including three women, for allegedly harassing and assaulting a group of trekkers at Visapur fort in Lonavala on New Year’s eve. The trekkers, who had came to celebrate New Year at Visapur fort, had registered through a website for the camp at Lonavala. According to the police complaint registered by one of the female trekkers from Pune, a group of 10 to 12 men and women allegedly roughed them up with sticks and belts. She claimed to have fractured her hand in the incident.
Favourite New Year’s eve fort-spots
Rajamachi and Koraigad in Lonavla
Tung-Tikona in Mulshi
Harishchandragad in Ahmednagar