The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike's (BBMP) health officials were reportedly assaulted by bouncers of an outlet when they went to seize the hookah being smoked there, on Wednesday.
On a tip-off, the officials turned up at the joint near Urvashi theare on Lalbagh Road to search the premises. However, the bouncers refused to let them in and a scuffle ensued in which the BBMP officials, including M.N. Lokesh, Health Officer (South), were allegedly roughed up by them.
Sources said that the company that owns the outlet — Puzzles Mud Plus — objected to the inspection saying the BBMP officials did not have a court order. Nevertheless, the BBMP officials managed to seize the 18 hookahs allegedly found there, sources said.
The health officials had lodged a complaint with the Silver Jubilee Park police station against Kamal Jain, the owner of the outlet, for obstructing government officials from discharging their duties. He and his son have been arrested.
Meanwhile, to avert such situations, BBMP officials plan to raid hookah joints jointly with the Central Crime Branch.
The officials, including Commissioner M.K. Shankarlinge Gowda and Zonal Joint Commissioners, are likely to meet Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Krishnamraju to discuss the logistics.
Yediyur councillor N.R. Ramesh told The Hindu there were nearly 415 hookah joints across the city. The BBMP Council had resolved to close them in the interest of public health.
The then Commissioner Siddaiah had written to City Police Commissioner to provide security to the BBMP officials when they raided these joints.