30 People Held For Partying at a Club Named “Playgue”. Can Delhi Stop Being Delhi For the Pandemic?

Social Commentary

30 People Held For Partying at a Club Named “Playgue”. Can Delhi Stop Being Delhi For the Pandemic?

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

The coronavirus pandemic has effectively put all forms of partying on hold since March. Unless you live in Delhi, and happen to be part of a secret WhatsApp group, that is…two days ago, over 30 people were arrested after the police discovered that a nightclub had been hosting guests in the capital’s Paschim Vihar area.

Apart from violating nearly all social distancing rules, the club was also serving attendees liquor and hookah, which have been banned since the lockdown was put into place.

Called “Playgue”, which is also ironically what it has been accused of spreading, the nightclub ran under the facade of a restaurant with a takeaway facility, reports said. The police were tipped off about the party after the cars parked outside caused a traffic jam.

During the raid, the police seized seven bottles of liquor, 77 beers, and eight hookahs from the premises, which they said was packed with dancing guests. The proprietors — brothers Lavish Khurana and Kashish Khurana — were also present.

The owners were booked under IPC Section 188 (violation of government order) and various other sections of Excise Act, Epidemic Diseases Act, Disaster Management Act and Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act.

The “nightclub” also did not have a license to serve liquor. “We will conduct a Covid-19 test on all the visitors. If any of them are found positive, they will be booked for additional violations under various sections of IPC,” an officer said.

When guests at the party were questioned, the police discovered that the owners had created a WhatsApp group, added all its regulars, and announced on Monday that it would be open to select guests.

Organisers had said the music would be played at a low volume to avoid attracting attention, and the police later found that they had stockpiled alcohol for several guests.

It just goes to show, as the rest of the country continues to grapple under strict lockdown rules, and rising coronavirus cases, Delhi won’t stop being Delhi, even during a pandemic.