Hookah bars raided again, one booked

India, June 22 -- In a crackdown on hookah bars, that are operating in the city despite the ban imposed last year, a team of the Haryana Food and Drug Administration (HFDA) raided a number of outlets in various malls on MG Road on Thursday night and seized a number of hookahs and tobacco molasses containing nicotine. The department has also registered an FIR against the owner of Empire restaurant and bar at MGF Metropolitan Mall where a large number of people were found smoking hookahs around 12.30am. The team found three open boxes (1 kg each) and two packs of 50 grams each of flavoured tobacco here. Following a series of complaints of hookahs being served in pubs and bars, Gurgaon deputy commissioner PC Meena had ordered the raid. The raiding team comprised senior drugs control officer of Gurgaon zone, Lalit Goel, Gurgaon drugs control officer Pooja Chaudhary and her Rewari counterpart Amandeep Chauhan. The inspection started around 10pm at Staying Alive restaurant-cum-bar in DLF Mega Mall. At MGF Metropolitan Mall, Addiction restaurant and Empire restaurant and bar were raided. The police of DLF City (Phase 2) were called in immediately and an inspection report was prepared. The recovered items from Empire restaurant, along with a complaint, were handed over to the police. At Staying Alive restaurant, an empty box of 1 kg tobacco along with a pipe used to inhale the smoke from a hookah and a broken chillum were found. The police were instructed to keep a watch on the bar and take strict action if hookahs were found to be served. In case of Addiction restaurant, though the bar was open but no hookahs were found and 'No Smoking Zone' was displayed at prominent places. The district magistrate has reaffirmed that no hookah bar would be allowed to operate in Gurgaon as flavoured tobacco served in hookahs was injurious to health of the people, especially the youth.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.