Cops gear up for peaceful New Year revelry

Mumbai police is pulling out all stops to ensure that New Year celebrations are peaceful this year. Even the Anti-Narcotics Cell (ANC) is conducting a special drive to check drug consumption during parties.

The entire police force of nearly 40,000 personnel will be out on the streets enforcing bandobast as all leaves and weekly offs have been cancelled. Specialised units like the Quick Response Team (QRT) and Riot Control Police have been put on alert, and combat vehicles will be patrolling the streets till the morning of January 1. The state government has extended the deadline for bars and restaurants till 5 am on January 1.

So far, ANC has penalised 500 people from all over Mumbai for drug consumption. Officials said the drive would intensify on December 31, with special focus on party hotspots. The drive was launched on December 21. "We conducted the drive all over Mumbai, focusing on areas with a high concentration of drug peddlers. Those arrested are from various age groups and social strata. They were produced in court and were either fined or sentenced to simple imprisonment," said Deputy Commissioner of Police Vinayak Deshmukh, ANC.

"Establishments such as pubs and nightclubs are under our scanner. We have already started inquiries with our informants to find out if any rave parties are being planned," Deshmukh said. An ANC official added that a team of officers was also going through social networking websites, as invites for rave parties are often shared on such websites.

Meanwhile, the city police have also put special focus on women's safety. Police commissioner Satyapal Singh said nakabandis will be set up at random all over Mumbai to check drink-driving, and offenders will be dealt with strictly.

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