The arrest of 88 students of Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies (SIMS) in Pune in Maharashtra on August 1 for attending late night ‘Friendship Day’ party has opened a Pandora’s Box of vices, being organised in Pune and other cities in the country in the name of friendship parties.
It was a massive get-together of students in semi-nude revealing dresses. As many as 489 student hostelites were held on Aug 1 when police raided a party held at a farmhouse of a jewellery merchant at Theur near Pune. Majority of those detained were students of SIMS.
The presence of 235 college girls took the police by surprise. Some of the girls said they had paid Rs 300 each and that the seniors had forced them to attend the party at the two-storey farmhouse. While there was no evidence of drugs at the party, 88 students were arrested for consuming liquor without a permit. They were later released on bail. Boxes of beer and liquor valued at Rs17,000 were confiscated from the scene.
The episode was reminiscent of a March 2007 drugs-and-liquor rave party busted by the police at Sinhagad in which 280 youth, including air-hostesses, software engineers and collegians, had been arrested.
The police booked the revellers under various sections of the Bombay Prohibition Act and Bombay Police Act for consuming alcohol without permit and organising a party without permission, which attract jail terms of two to three years.
The incident should be an eye-opener to the authorities as well as the parents of the students who send their children to study in prestigious colleges. The incident is a tip of the iceberg as such parties, including rave parties, are becoming part and parcel of the culture of the fast upcoming cities like Pune.
The surprising thing to note is that how the students are allowed to party till wee hours. It is surprising to know that the hostel students are allowed ‘late outs’ thrice a month, till 12.30 am. What is the purpose of such permissions? Are they coming to study or for participating in late-night parties?
The authorities and the parents should seriously think about the issue. Ideally such hostels should not allow outings after 7 or 7.30 pm.
Allowing the students to roam around till the late night is fraught with danger. Initially it will just be a friendship party, just for some fun, but it can gradually lead to vices like rave parties, drugs and even to group sex parties. It is all happening here.
The sooner the authorities and parents understand the dangers of such parties, the better for the society. The trend should be nipped in the bud.