Dhoble does it again, cuts short Hyatt New Year bash

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Says popular nightspot violated licence

Controversial police officer Vasant Dhoble struck in the city again, this time on New Year's eve on Monday night, as he shut down a party at China House at the five-star Grand Hyatt hotel in Santacruz (East) saying the popular nightspot had violated its licence.

"The hotel had a licence to hold the party till midnight but it went well past the permitted time, so we stopped it at 12.45 am," said Dhoble, Vakola division ACP. Officials at the Grand Hyatt remained unavailable for comment despite several attempts to reach them.

But one employee of the hotel said that China House abruptly shut down celebrations at around 1.30 am. Dhoble was at the hotel until 4 am shutting down other celebrations that apparently did not have licences, he added.

The strict enforcement was not limited to China House. Citing terror concerns and the issue of women's safety, Mumbai Police had stepped up security and placed traffic check-points across the city, leading many party-goers to complain about the measures.

While some voluntarily canceled house parties in the backdrop of the Delhi gangrape, more as a tribute to the victim, those who ventured out faced cordons and rules.

David Robert, 24, who attended a party at Hotel Beach Garden in Juhu, claimed police detained people as they pleased. "We paid Rs 2,000 per head for the party but at 12.15 am they stopped the music and said they would restart in 10-15 minutes. But the cops arrived and shut everything down," he said.

"Outside the venue, they put random people, only guys, in the vans. They didn't even immediately take them to the police station - they just kept circling around Juhu to find more people. My friend was among those put in the van. We eventually paid a fine of Rs 1,250 to get him out of the police station. They could not book him for not having a liquor permit so instead they said he had been creating nuisance."

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