Sex served with alcohol
Government officials in Mumbai did not waste any time in issuing a ban against dance bars in the city. However they prefer to do nothing when it comes to liquor joints and clubs where individuals not only mis-use the law but also engage in prostitution business.
Mid-Day does yet another sting operation, to find out more on the critical problem.
The government would like you to believe that liquor joints shut shop at 1.30 am. However, what you are made to believe is not the reality.
Not only do the bars serve alcohol through the night, they also engage in what is called ‘ladies service’ (where waitresses serve drinks) and ‘free service’ (where girls satisfy customers sexually).
Some of these bars are pick-up points for customers, the waitresses are picked up and taken to near-by lodges. This violates another rule because, as per Bombay Shops and Establishments Act of 1976, waitresses cannot be spotted inside bars after 12.30 am.
Sandeep Ashar and Vishal Kelkar went bar hopping after 1.30 am last week and here’s what they found:
Samudra Restaurant and Bar, Kurar, Malad
The hotel’s neon-lit entrance gate is teeming with people. We are guided into a room, where an orchestra is playing. Ten-odd girls serve drinks to customers; we order two beer bottles.
While the girls do not exactly swirl to the tunes played by the orchestra, they tap their feet to the rhythm. After spending 40 minutes in that place, we move on.
Bill Rs 410
Tip Top Restaurant, Gokuldham, Goregaon
We find three men and an auto rickshaw waiting outside the bar, whose shutter is down. “Orchestra aur silent hain,” says one of the four men. Silent bar, we are told, is a place where the clients can get sexual favours. We go to the room where the orchestra is playing.
While waitresses serve drinks to customers, we insist on them dancing, but they do not take the bait. “Kal nachne par Andheri bar mein police raid kiya,” the waiter informs us. We try in vain to get the girls to dance.
Bill Rs 300
Other hotels in the area, Paris and Strawberry offer similar services. Aruna Hotel in Malad (W) where we tour next also offers free ladies service. It runs well into the morning. We decide to head south.
Vinoda Restaurant, near Goregaon Station, Goregaon (W)
There is enough activity outside the bar to suggest that the fun’s just begun inside. Here too the shutters are down. “Daru milega kya?” I ask the security personnel. “Milega sahab, phate tak milega,” he said.
We are ushered in at 3.24 am. We find around 100 people seated inside the room. The hotel has a non-AC, AC and a ‘private’ room. We enter the non-AC room and order a McDowell quarter and chicken masala.
A waiter informs us, “The bar will stay open until 7 am.” But wanting to stop at a couple of more bars, we quickly empty our glasses and hurry out.
Bill Rs 303
Mili Bar, Kashimira Road, Mira Road
Though the bar is closed, the security guard informs that alcohol and girls are available if we are prepared to lodge in one of their rooms (The lodge is just above the bar). Nearing our own deadline to file this report, we move on.
We then decide to check out a country bar
Janta Country Bar, Delisle Road, Lower Parel
Contrary to its name, the liquor joint serves everything from country liquor to beer, whisky and scotch. Though the shutter is down, you can order for a bottle 24/7. We call for a Kingfisher Beer.
Does the government think the citizens are fools or does it simply not care?
JCP(law and order)
“We’ve never claimed that illegal activities don’t happen in bars. I will look into the matter.”
Joint Commissioner (state excise dept)
“I am not aware of this. Give us the names, we will verify the information and take action.”
Inspector General, Konkan region
“I have noted down the details of the bars. We will look into the matter.”
Manjeet Singh Sethi
President, Bar Owners Association
“Some owners create problems by violating laws. All of them should be penalised.”