Rave parties on a high, cops target hubs
Early summer isn't the only unusual phenomenon this year. The number of rave parties, mostly synonymous with the year-end bash, is also shooting up along with temperatures.
Cops are raiding farmhouses and combing Facebook pages and WhatsApp groups being used to push the cocktail of illegal booze, narcotics and prostitution, Mail Today has learnt.
The crackdown follows the police's Sunday raid and arrest of about 200 youngsters at a Noida farmhouse where some 50 rave parties have been organised in recent months.
Online pages promise unlimited drinks, flavoured tobacco and nontobacco hookah, dancers and "real fun". One person has to pay anything between Rs 10,000 and Rs 25,000 to join the bash.
"Party drugs such as LSD, Meow Meow, heroin, cocaine and weed are unusually high in demand in this scorching heat. Peddlers roam around venues to serve abusers," confirmed an official of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).
"No organiser uses the word rave, but we know the code phrases such as pool party, ready to roll, rock and roll, only for a night and paradise party. Once we read such messages, we know the party will be loaded with drugs, booze, girls, music and fun," said Amulya Sharma, a resident of Delhi's Civil Lines.
Delhi Police Spokesperson Madhur Verma said rave parties have mostly moved to NCR because of greater scrutiny in Delhi, but cops are keeping a close watch on the possibility of underground activities at farmhouses.
"Proper investigations are done after illicit liquor is seized in Delhi. There is a possibility of liquor meant for sale in Haryana being supplied for parties in Delhi," he said, adding, "Delhi mostly has the culture of clubhouses where youngsters go for fun.
Gurugram Police PRO Subhash Bokan said beat constables and intelligence sleuths have cracked down on rave parties in farmhouses in Gurugram under the supervision of the DCPs of respective areas.
"SHOs are making enquiries at these premises where a large number of men and women assemble for parties. Cops are in touch with local informers and residents for tipoffs," he said.
In the Noida case, five organisers were among those arrested. The police said the farmhouse owner had contacted the organisers to arrange parties. The organisers have claimed that they gave Rs 15,000 to cops to ensure that Sunday's party was not disturbed.
Guests had come in 39 cars and nine two-wheelers. The police had seized all the vehicles along with five big hookahs, 26 small hookas, 112 bottles of beer and 30 other liquor bottles.
"Organisers assure guests that there will be no raid by the police as they have been managed. At times, organisers say that cops will also come to have fun with us," said a reveller.
"We never had these parties in such scorching heat. They're mostly happening at farmhouses located in isolated villages of NCR. Youth from Delhi and NCR attend these parties by paying Rs 10,000 to Rs 25,000 for 8-10 hours of fun," said Rohan Mehra (22), an MBA student in Noida.
A Delhi-based DJ who plays in popular clubs told Mail Today that girls from Uzbekistan and Russia are arranged for "entertainment". "Popular bands for live music, best DJs, booze, drugs, hookah, rain dance, swimming CRACKDOWN pool everything is available at these parties," he said.
Gautam Buddh Nagar (Noida) SSP Vaibhav Krishna said, "A team is probing the allegations against some policemen [regarding their alleged involvement in organising Sunday's party]. Action will be taken if any cop is found guilty."
Noida cops have also intensified their raids.
The other side
Family and friends of those arrested in Noida, however, questioned the crackdown on revellers. They said drugs were not consumed at that venue, and if the organisers had not procured licences to serve alcohol purchased from other states, it wasn't the fault of the revellers.
Tarun Sharma, a friend of one of the arrested persons, now out on bail, said that he was also supposed to attend the party but because of food poisoning he could not.
"We were not aware of the liquor permissions and other legal issues. For us, it was a normal pool party to have fun," he said.
(With inputs from Ajay Kumar)