Reminicences of a rave

Author: Divyan Salotra
Date: Jun 27, 2007
Views: 2492

About the police raid at Indian party in march 2007

Date: June 27, 2007
Text: Divyan Salotra

Reminiscences of a Rave

Police raid at Holi festival in the beginning of march 2007


Monday, 7th march 2007 brought back reminiscences of the Azax Syndrome bust that throttled New Delhi in 2003. It was the auspicious Indian festival of colors, Holi. Druv Pavan Kaushal (22) and Paramjitsing Harcharansing Brar (27) organized a party at the foothills of the historic Sinhgad fort at a secluded farm at Donje Village, approximately 30 km from Pune. The lineup consisted of well-known disc jockeys – Daksinamurti (S.S.J/ MindFunk – Marburg), Shivamoon (India) and Chuha (Munich). The charges were five hundred Indian Rupees per individual entry.

Vishwas Nangre-Patil (SP, Pune rural) and a few constables entered the party zone in plain clothes and mingled among the dancers to gather information from the partying lot.

A police team raided the location at 2:10 am. A team of two lady constables and two male constables were sent as decoys.
Cops outside the location, were informed to cordon off the area. SP Nangre Patil then made and entrance, took   out his revolver and said, “We have surrounded the area, you people have to surrender. If you cooperate, it is good.”  It was 8.30 am before all the youths present at the party were rounded up, though more youngsters from far-off areas kept pouring in through the day. A few youths from Delhi who had arrived in the morning even asked the policemen about the party location.

Approximately 270 people were present at the party, of which 29 were girls. The youths were from various parts of the country - Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Police claim to have seized seven bottles of phenylephrine hydrochloride, two-and-half kg of marijuana (ganja), 100 g of hashish (charas), beer cans, cigarettes, music systems, 45 cars, 29 two-wheelers and an unspecified number of mobile phones. Ravers at the party claim that most of these were planted.

Everyone present at the location was taken into police custody. Judge R V Deshmukh granted bail to 80 youths against a personal bond of Rs. 15,000 but asked them to deposit their passports and residence proof. The remaining youths were then taken to Yerwada Central Prison in police vans. Blood samples of all those present were tested at the police headquarters.

After a seven-hour hearing, the court sent the 270 detainees, who were being held for alleged drug consumption, to a 14-day judicial custody. The court allowed police custody of Druv Pavan Kaushal (22) and Paramjit Harcharan Singh Brar (27), residents of Wanowrie allegedly linked to the drug mafia, farm owner Ramdas Hagavane of Donje village, Sharad Mulot Shankar, Shivendu Prabhatkumar Gupta, Stephen Ervin Muller and Christopher of Germany.

All those arrested in the raid were booked under the NDPS Act and Foreigners Act while the police are also thinking of invoking provisions of IT Act against them because the invitations for the party were sent via the Internet.

Lawyers described judicial magistrate S B Mahale's order on Pune's rave party-goers as ‘way too harsh’ since no drugs were found on most people and even the tough NDPS law didn't treat drug users as criminals. Those still jail are treated with no mercy- they get no clean water to drink, forced to use dirty toilets, and eat leftovers for breakfast apart from being beaten up every now and then.

Nangre-Patil said that an international drug peddler Shania was supposed to bring 1,500 bottles of a drug known as ‘California Drops’. "However, neither Shania nor the drugs arrived," he added.  Shania is an Irish woman and there are at least three cases against her in Ireland, the SP said. "She is also wanted in drug-related crimes," he added.

Delhi Police have arrested three alleged drug peddlers, including a Tanzanian national, who is suspected to have had a role at the party.  Nbabwa Ally Zuma was arrested on Friday in New Delhi with 10 grams of cocaine. He had visited Pune twice within 10 days recently. The last time he had gone to Pune was on second March and returned on third March, hours before the party in that city was busted," DCP (narcotics and crime prevention) A S Cheema told reporters on Saturday. Another arrested man is Immanual Nnanta Akiko, a Nigerian national. He was arrested from New Delhi on the intervening night of March seven and eight with eight grams of cocaine.

The raid has obviously been blown out of proportion. A Mumbai-based man, whose son was arrested, told the local Indian press "Trance is a type of music, and he came to Pune just to listen it. There was nothing wrong, It was just one mistake of attending the party in Pune," adding that it was harsh action by police.

 As a consequence, the Indian section on the international Isratrance forum has been shut down. The news has sent a powerful shockwave around the subcontinent and clearly, it is going to stall the progress of the Indian psychedelic scenario.

Text by: Divyan Salotra
















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