2 Jan 2009, 0409 hrs IST, V Narayan, TNN


MUMBAI: Nearly 800 invitees to a New Year bash at Ramada Hotel in Powai went on the rampage on Wednesday night after the police stopped the

programme, saying the organisers did not obtain the required permission.
The organisers were arrested for cheating the invitees by overcharging them and holding the programme without permission from the police. The arrested persons have been identified as Manav Shital (32) and his brothers Sumit (25) and Mohit (33). The fourth person Niti Talwar (25) is at large. They have been booked for unlawful assembly, rioting, wrongful restraint, cheating and mischief.
On Wednesday, at 7.30 pm, the Powai police visited the hotel and asked the organisers not to go ahead with the programme as they had not obtained permission from the entertainment division of the suburban collectorate and police. But the organisers did not pay heed and continued with the programme. Around 10.30 pm, the police landed up at the hotel again and forced them to stop.
While the printed invites for the party mentioned the entry fee as Rs 300, the guests were charged anything between Rs 1,500 and Rs 3,500, the police said.
The organisers had booked the two banquet halls of the hotel and an entire floor. They had asked the hotel management to arrange for food, drinks and security for the guests and paid Rs 6 lakh for it. They were pay Rs 2 lakh more after the event.
“The organisers approached the senior inspector of Powai police to get permission. But they misbehaved and were arrogant. They even boasted that they would get the permission without adhering to the procedure,” said deputy commissioner of police (zone X) KMM Prasanna.
Prasanna said the organisers were asked to get a written note from the hotel, mentioning the event. “They had produced a photocopy of the letter printed on a paper. It was not acceptable. When I told them to get it on the hotel’s letterhead, they said they would get the approval from higher-ups,” the DCP added.
“They violated the rules which forced us to stop the music. We informed the guests that the organisers did not have the permission to play DJ music. The guests then went on the rampage, ransacking the hotel premises and demanding that the organisers should refund the money. The situation was brought under control or else the guests would have lynched the organisers,” he added.
The hotel management was unavailable for comment when TOI visited the hotel on Thursday.
Vittal Teli, security officer of Ramada Hotel, in his police complaint, said, “The organisers had not told the hotel management that they had not got police permission. They said that they were in the business of organising parties for the last 13 years and knew how to get the permission. After the incident, the hotel management has taken the responsibility to refund the guests. It has agreed to refund the money in two days.”
Meanwhile, Ashok Shital, uncle of the three organisers, told TOI, “The police and the hotel management have played a dirty game. We are into the business for more than a decade and are not here to cheat anyone. The allegations in the FIR are baseless.”

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