Undercover cops to throng party venues, hangouts
NAVI MUMBAI: All party sites and hangout places will be under surveillance of police officers in civil dresses on New Year’s Eve for the safety of revellers.
Officials from the antinarcotic cell said special attention will be given to the movement of foreign nationals residing in the city to prevent sale of narcotics to the revellers. The decision came after several foreign nationals, especially Africans, were arrested for drug peddling in Navi Mumbai.
“We have taken every possible step to maintain law and order during the celebration. Every police station has been asked to identify and patrol the places where revellers may go for parties. Since people get cautious around police officers in uniform, our officials will visit these places in civil clothes. It will help us keep a tab on the party sites,” said Shahaji Umap, deputy commissioner of police (zone 1).
Umap said officials from both city police and traffic department will conduct nakabandis and special checks near hotels, pubs and restaurants throughout the night.
“The possibility of foreign nationals peddling drugs cannot be ruled out. There are a few areas such as Kopar Khairane, Kharghar and New Panvel, where Africans stay in large numbers. Apart from police stations, three units of the crime branch have been alerted to keep them under watch,” said a senior crime branch official.
In the first week of June, a gang of around 40 Nigerians had attacked a police team during a raid at Kopar Khairane. The police conducted the raid following a tip-off that the Nigerians were consuming drugs in a flat and many of them reportedly had no passport or visas. One sub inspector and one constable were injured in the attack.
The traffic department has also intensified its drive against drink-driving from Wednesday.
Arvind Salve, deputy commissioner of police (traffic) said, “In Navi Mumbai, hotels are allowed to keep open till 5am on January 1, and our officials will be on the road till the celebrations are over. Punitive measures will be taken if anyone is found drunk at the wheel.”