Illegal dance bars operating openly in Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar: In a blatant disregard to law, dance bars are operating in the capital city of Bhubaneswar unrestrained. Though there are restrictions on organizing song and dance by girls inside a bar, the norms are being openly flouted by the bar operators and owners.

An exclusive footage obtained by the Odisha Television, girls are seen dancing inside a bar and customers are flinging money at them.

As per the regulation laid down by Section 25 of Odisha, Bihar Excise Act, 1915, girls or women cannot be engaged in dancing inside a bar. In Odisha, there are no provisions of giving away licenses for operating dance bars.

Commenting on the matter, Bhubaneswar Excise inspector Debi Prasad Mishra said that these are being done without our knowledge, and we have only issued licenses for operating bars. “As per the terms of the license, they cannot engage girls,” he said, adding that the matter will be investigated.

According to sources, there are about 12 bars and restaurants in the state capital where such practice is going on. Last year, the Excise department had recommended cancellation of licenses of six bars for carrying out such illegal activities. Though there have been several rounds of discussions between the Excise department and the Police administration to clampdown on these bars, it has yielded no results whatsoever.

It’s a very sad thing that such practices are being allowed and the environment is so bad that for a common man it’s very difficult to even pass through that area where they are operating, said Amresh Jena, the local corporator. Though we have complained repeatedly there have been no action and the bar owners employ goons to tackle any protest by outsiders, he added.

We never give permission for such activities. We have received complaints and examining the legalities involved and how we can curb such activities, said Bhubaneswar DCP Satyabrata Bhoi.

Former Police DG, SN Tiwari said, there is definitely obscenity and looking at the various activities going on in these bars, a case can be registered under 294 IPC. Police can take action if an FIR is lodged, he pointed out.