The Hyderabad Police on Sunday raided an upscale pub in the city’s Banjara Hills for operating beyond its permitted hours and detained around 150 people, including actor Niharika Konidela and Bigg Boss Telugu Season 3 winner and Tollywood singer Rahul Sipligunj.
The crackdown led by the Hyderabad Police Task Force took place in the wee hours of Sunday at Pudding and Mink pub housed inside Radisson Blu hotel.
Three pub owners have been booked under the NDPS Act. They have been identified as Abhishek Vuppala, Arjun Veeramachineni and Anil Kumar. According to a police statement, five packets of cocaine were found during the raid. The party was attended by 144 special invitees, including Tollywood actors and children of VIPs, it said.
“The Partners of the Pudding & Mink Pub allow only elite selected few customers and their guests to have access to their pub with the sole intention of earning money and they run the Pub till the early hours 0400 am. An App is being maintained wherein CODE is generated for each customer and the customers can have access to the Pub only be entering the CODE at the main entrance," the statement further said.
Sources told CNN-News18 that the task force team scrutinised the pub’s premise for nearly 2 hours before moving all the detainees to Banjara Hills police station for further questioning. Some individuals from the film and entertainment industry and children of some prominent personalities are said to be among those detained and were later let off.
A senior police officer had earlier confirmed to CNN-News18 that blood samples of 45 detainees have been collected for further medical examination to ascertain whether there has been drug consumption.
Hyderabad Commissioner of Police CV Anand issued orders to suspend the SHO of Banjara Hills police station Inspector P Shiva Chandra. He also issued a Charge Memo to the Banjara Hills ACP (Assistant Commissioner of Police) M Sudarshan.
According to an official release, the action was taken due to “their negligence towards their legitimate duties in the control of narcotics in pubs and bars.”
The raid came amid an intensified drive by the police against the drug menace in the city. The recent death of an engineering graduate due to a drug overdose, and the involvement of some educated youth and techies in drug peddling and consumption have alarmed the authorities. The police and newly formed Hyderabad Narcotics Enforcement Wing (H-NEW) are not only acting tough against peddlers but also booking cases against those found to be consuming the drugs.
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