Hyderabad: Minister Srinivas Goud warns pub owners against drug trade

Hyderabad: In a meeting with pub owners and the Excise department officials on Saturday, Telangana Minister of Prohibition & Excise V Srinivas Goud warned the pub owners against engaging in the trade of narcotics. The meeting took place at the Tourism Plaza Hotel in Begumpet, Hyderabad.

“‘Businessmen involved in drugs trade better leave Hyderabad. The TRS government will ensure the prosecution of culprits, regardless of their background. The department has its own leads, if needed all such pubs involved in drugs will be closed,” he said.

In the meeting, the minister ordered the immediate installation of CCTV cameras in all pubs and star hotels leaving no blind spots. He also asked them to maintain footage of up to one and a half months at all times for the sake of inspection.

“Pubs with no cameras will be temporarily closed and will be re-opened only when CCTVs are fixed. Also, pub owners must share the CCTV server with the police or excise department,” he said.

The meeting comes after the recent case of a task force police raid in the wee hours of April 3, Sunday on the Pudding and Mink pub in the Radisson Blu hotel where drugs were found. 144 people were detained on the spot and the police only allowed them to leave after collecting their information. The Excise department revoked the license of the pub after the raid.

As per the latest information, two individuals were arrested in the case. They are Mahadaram Anil Kumar (35), the manager of the pub as well as Abhishek Vuppala (39), one of the owners. A third accused in the case, Arjun Veeramachineni is said to be absconding.

It was also decided that the Excise and Prohibition Department will also hold a month-long special drive to check on bars & restaurants, star hotels, and pubs, to check on violations with regard to noise and timings. The area officer will be responsible for pubs functioning beyond the stipulated time.

Managements of pubs & bars were also instructed to pass information to 1800 425 2523, the toll-free number of the Prohibition and Excise Department about customers who use drugs and narcotics. “At the washroom area, the pub staff must be sensitized to avoid drug abuse as it is the only place with maximum privacy and zero surveillance,” the minister said.

Srinivas Goud also asked the pub owners to provide separate seating for minors who arrive with their families.