The Mumbai police brought an illegal boat party spread across three boats near Gateway of India to a screeching halt around midnight on Friday.
Colaba police officers raided the three boats and arrested four boat crew members, who allegedly organised the party for 236 Parsis on the occasion of Jamshetji Navroze. The police later revealed that nothing incriminating was found on the boats, such as liquor or drugs. The four arrested accused have been handed over to the Yellow Gate police station.
Boat parties on sea have been banned since the 26/11 terror attacks in the city in 2008, in which 166 people were killed.
Colaba police officers received a tip-off about the illegal boat party on Friday night. Accompanied by excise department officials, and using Mumbai police’s high-speed interceptor boat Purna, they intercepted three boats – Al-Khalid, Arman 1 and Orient Crown – in the sea near Gateway of India.
“One hundred and thirty women and 106 men, all from the Parsi community, were found partying on the boats. When the police questioned the organisers of the party and the people operating the boats, they found that permission had not been taken for the boat party. The party started around 8.20pm on Friday and was stopped by the police at 12.15am on Saturday. Musarat Bamane, 35, who allowed the party in the boat, was arrested with three others – Shoib Abdulgani Shaikh, 28, Jamaluddin Yusuf Fakaar, 42 and Zuber Iqbal Bamane, 36 on the basis of a complaint filed by a constable of Colaba police station,” said a sub-inspector at the Yellow Gate police station.
“We have arrested the four under sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code and section 33W of the Maharashtra Police Act, and seized the three boats on which party was being held, without permission,” said Krishnakumar Chavan, deputy commissioner of police, Port Zone.
The four were later released on table bail of Rs5,000 each. Statements of the owners of the boats are being recorded. A source said the accused had kept the Parsi people who threw the party in the dark about permissions were required for a boat party.
“We are taking strict action against those who organise illegal parties on boats. We will initiate proceedings to cancel licences of the boats, if it is found that operators of the boats have violated mandatory rules and norms,” said Dr Ravindra Shishve, deputy commissioner of police, Zone I.