According to the president of the association Prakash Hegde, police officers, and constables ask for free food, booze and packaged drinking water, and when asked to pay their bills, they make excuses like they are taking the food for their bosses or for officials posted at roadside checkpoints.
He added that the hoteliers grudgingly oblige as we want to avoid trouble with the law enforcers. However, after the April 5 incident, we have decided to put an absolute stop to it.”
On the night of April 5, Nitin Nalawade, a constable from the Manikpur police station, has consumed snacks and downed a few pegs of whiskey with a friend at Hotel Trupti in Vasai (west). When the 23-year-old son of hotel owner Taksheel Shetty, asked Nalawade to pay his bill amount of Rs 458, he flatly refused and verbally abused him.
Upon realizing that the entire episode was getting recorded in the CCTV camera of the hotel, he hopped onto his bike and left with the promise of being back. However, Nalawade ran his bike over Shetty’s foot and returned after some time to throw the bill amount at Shetty’s face.
On April 7, when a group of hotel owners went to complain to the police about the incident, they were made to wait for hours, after the while the cops registered only a non-cognisable offence.