Delhi Police raid 2 illegal hookah bars, arrest over 2 dozen people
A Delhi Police team arrested over two dozen persons at two illegal hookah bars in south Delhi in the last week, even as the Delhi government has advised citizens to ensure social distancing and avoid crowding to contain the spread of Covid-19.
Deputy commissioner of police (south east) RP Meena, said that on June 12, a police team raided a building (acting on a tip) and found about 10 men inside an illegal hookah bar. Police arrested them and cracked down on similar illegal hookah bars operating in the area. Two owners, Monu and Aditya, identified only by their first names in police records, were arrested.
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DCP Meena said that two days later, police raided another building in the Kalkaji market and found several persons smoking hookahs. Police said that while dine-in services are allowed at 50% seating capacity, running hookah bars in Delhi is illegal and the people caught had flouted social distancing norms.
“Twenty customers and two cafe owners were arrested and three hookahs were seized from the spot. The owners of the cafe were identified as Karan Nayyar and Aditya Dixit,” said DCP Meena.
Police said the four owners do not have a record. The four told police they opened the hookah bars to make money.
In 2017, hookah bars were banned by the Delhi government, which cited studies showing a hookah was more harmful than a cigarette. The government had asked civic agencies to cancel the licence of eateries that continued to serve hookahs. But the civic agencies find it a challenge to implement it as many eateries still run hookah bars surreptitiously.