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Drunken cops vandalise Golf Range, beat up staff
Naveen S. Garewal and Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Broken windowpane of the CGA Golf Range, near Kishangarh, after inebriated persons beat up the catering staff and damaged windowpanes on Sunday.
Broken windowpane of the CGA Golf Range, near Kishangarh, after inebriated persons beat up the catering staff and damaged windowpanes on Sunday. — Tribune photo by Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, April 10
Five unidentified persons, claiming to be the top echelon of the Punjab police, accompanied by AK 47 wielding gunmen, went to the Golf Range, run by the Chandigarh Golf Association (CGA), and after having a lot of alcohol and food refused to pay the bill. When confronted, the men, claiming to be police officers, beat up the catering staff, including the bar manager and captain.

They tried to hit some waiters and CGA staff with bricks and stones and damaged CGA property, while all those present there watched helplessly.

The Chandigarh police was called while those “officers” were still there, but the police refused to intervene on the pretext that “these men were too many for them to handle”.

Interestingly, while those men continued to hit and abuse the CGA catering staff, the personnel of the Chandigarh police stood as mute witnesses. They neither intervened nor asked for additional reinforcement.

The CGA staff finally let them go after they realised that those men were armed and inebriated.

Initially reluctant, the Chandigarh police today registered an FIR at the Sector 26 police station against “unidentified persons”, but refused to comment on the behaviour of the PCR personnel who were mute witness to the episode.

According to the complaint, five persons entered the CGA Golf Range by entering a “fake” membership number. They ordered meals and drinks at the Hot Million-run club house. Initially, they had problems with the waiter when they were told that the bar was closing and that they should place their last order. When they were presented with a bill worth Rs 4700, they refused to pay it.

When Mr Suresh, the waiter serving them went to these “officers”, he was slapped and told: “How dare you ask us for the bill. Don’t you know who we are.”

Sensing commotion, Club Manager Sumeet Kumar tried to intervene, but he, too, was slapped and abused. “They tried to offer Rs 2,000, but since the bill was worth Rs 4,700 it was not accepted”, Captain of the club P.C. Thakur said. “Around midnight these people got up to leave, I followed them out and requested that the bill be cleared. A Sikh gentleman repeatedly slapped me in front of the CGA security and all of them joined in to hurl abuses at us”, he said.

Just as the five “officers”, claiming to be from Patiala, got up to leave, the CGA catering staff rang the police control room up. Before they could reach the gate hitting and abusing, the police vehicle was at the CGA gate. The Chandigarh police personnel had by then talked to the waiting bodyguards of these “officers”, who were sitting in four vehicles in the parking lot, and decided not to intervene.

Mr Mohanbir Singh of Hot Millions said: “The issue was primarily over the payment of dues for the drinks and food. Since these people were in civil dress, we do not know who they were, but it is unfortunate that the Chandigarh police initially refused to come, even when they reached the spot they refused to intervene”.

Those “visitors” arrived at the CGA range around 8.30 pm and continued to drink till past midnight despite repeated requests by the staff to wind up. Those inebriated men damaged CGA property and broke glass, but none dared to stop them.

“When the PCR men did not intervene, how can you expect ordinary waiters to take up cudgels”, said the Bar Manager. All we could do was to note down the numbers of the vehicles in which they left the golf range”. The vehicles bore registration plates with numbers DBG - 324, PB-13-P-0032, PB11-AB-9459 and PB65-A-0049.

The DSP (East), Mr Vijay Pal Singh, said the police was trying to ascertain the identification of the people involved in the incident. Police teams have been despatched to find the owners of the vehicles.

He said the investigation would also see the role played by the Chandigarh police. Meanwhile, sources at Mohali said the Chandigarh police had taken some documents from the Motor Vehicle Registration there, pertaining to the case.


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