Home Minister convenes stakeholders’ meet next week to discuss the present restrictions on the city’s once rocking nightlife

Home Minister K.J. George on Saturday said he would convene a meeting of top police officers, journalists as well as hotel and pub owners on June 21 to discuss the present restrictions on the city’s nightlife.

“I understand that young people in the city want a more vibrant nightlife. We will not stop these activities as long as they are conducted within the boundaries of law,” he said, and added that the administration’s main concern was not as much pubs and discotheques as it was illegal dance bars, obscene live bands and gambling dens.

The State government was committed to complying with the Supreme Court’s order to allow women to serve liquor at bars. “There are some misgivings, however, about the manner in which this business is conducted. We will come out with a clear policy after the June 21 meeting.”

The Home Minister’s decision to convene the meeting comes amid speculations that the new government is under pressure to relax the restrictions imposed on certain commercial establishments, particularly eateries.

However, the city police, only last week, launched a drive against illegal dance bars, gambling dens and prostitution racketeers following a direction from the Home Minister. This was followed with a stern warning by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to police officials that they would be held responsible for illegal activities in their jurisdictions.

It has also been learnt that the Home Minister had asked the police to make a distinction between dance bars/live bands and legal businesses.

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