Setting a precedent, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh and Nagpur Police Commissioner Dr BK Upadhyay on Thursday raided two restaurants – Bajaj Nagar’s Sujal Saoji and Sadar’s Haldiram’s – that were operating despite a shutdown in Nagpur. Following suit, Sitabuldi Police Station in a major crackdown on certain Nagpur restaurants operating illegally in connivance with online food delivery app Zomato conducted an operation post midnight to catch the perpetrators red-handed. According to a Nation Next’s source in Nagpur Police, DCP Zone II Vinita S, after getting a tip off about certain restaurants operating illegally in the city, despite the Maharashtra Government’s orders to shut down the restaurants till March 31st to control the Coronavirus pandemic from being further spread in the state, held an overnight operation to track such restaurants.
Despite the imposition of Section 144 in the city, which states five or more people can’t assemble in a public place, it was observed that around 13-14 workers were present at restaurant Little Italy located at Civil Lines.
On the condition of anonymity, this source of ours told Nation Next that the DCP ordered food from Nagpur’s uppity restaurant ‘Little Italy’ via Zomato at around 12:30 am last night, and asked them to deliver food at her residence. When the Zomato delivery boy delivered food at her residence, a team from Sitabuldi Police Station was sent to ‘Little Italy’ only to find out that the restaurant’s kitchen was fully operational with a staff of around 14-15 working there at around 12:45 midnight.
As per sources, Sitabuldi Police Station summoned the owner of Little Italy and regional head of Zomato and are now investigating the matter further. While the cops continue their crackdown on such illegal operations of restaurants in the zone, Zomato’s regional head and Little Italy’s owner have been booked under Section 188 of IPC at Sitabuldi Police Station for non-compliance of government orders. In his statement to the police, Zomato delivery boy said that many such restaurants are operating till even 4 am in Nagpur.