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Shock therapy at restaurants

Sudden raids by cops to check for night curfew violation comes as blow to eateries

Over the past two days, the Central division police have been on a spree booking hotels violating covid norms and night curfew rules. The Ashok Nagar police have booked five eateries, including a bar and restaurant and the High Grounds police booked around 10 restaurants under the Karnataka Epidemic Disease Act, 2020 and penalised all of them.

Restaurants like Empire, Imperial, and Kabab Magic and many others were taken aback with the surprise raids by the police on Thursday evening at their premise and kitchens – which was well before the curfew closing time (9 pm), owners of the restaurants told Bangalore Mirror. They checked the premises and booked the cashiers of restaurant under the Karnataka Epidemic Disease Act for not following covid norms like social distancing and not closing the restaurant by 9 pm – the time when night curfew begins.

Around 14 hotels in the Central Business District (CBD) area were checked on Thursday night and most were booked for violation of covid norms.

Hotel owners told this newspaper the unprecedented police action was a sort of drill after the news of two blasts struck the city – one at a transport godown in Chamrajpet killing two and the other at an apartment complex that killed two women. “We have been following all covid norms including use of gloves, masks and practising social distancing for our customers at every outlet. We close our premises by 9.30 pm which the police has given as a grace time of 30 minutes to wind up,” said Hussain, owner of a reputed restaurant in Ashok Nagar.

We have suffered enough losses due to the pandemic. These sort of police drills cause more harm

–An eatery owner

“All these days we have been following the same safety measures and the cops are aware of that. We work with all precautions following covid norms as well and our kitchen including the LPG gas connections are installed in compliance with Fire Safety protocols and FSSAI norms,” said Mujahid another hotel manager. “We have suffered enough losses in our business due to the pandemic and these sort of police drills and exercises are only causing more harm to our business that is now slowly starting to pick up as our customers will think twice before coming to our place next time if police raids continue like this,” said another hotel owner.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Central Division MN Anucheth told Bangalore Mirror that the police have been getting complaints about restaurants that are open and functional even after the grace time (9.30 pm) during the night curfew in place, so the surprise checks were conducted and around 14 restaurants were booked for violating covid protocols.

“Some of the establishments are under the impression that they are exempted from night curfews so we had to crack the whip,” Anucheth added.

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