NOTE: The story has been updated with Turqoise Cottage’s official statement and video footage of the incident!
Post his performance, Delhi-based young musician Sahil Sharma was allegedly beaten up by the bartender and bouncers at the Turqoise Cottage, Delhi, over an argument on the beverage bill. However, the bar has denied all accusations, sharing their part of the incident. Two different FIRs have been lodged in the case by the Delhi Police.
A late night performance by Delhi-based music band ‘The Cosmic Truth’ at Turqoise Cottage, Green Park (Delhi), ended with wounds and bruises to the musicians. A couple of band members got into a heated argument with the bartender of the pub over settlement of the beverage bill. In no time, the matter escalated in a severe brawl that got injuries to young musicians. An FIR has been lodged at the Safdarjung Enclave police station in South Delhi against the bartender and bouncers of the restaurant with sections 241 (wrongful restraint), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).
‘I WAS BEATEN UP BRUTALLY AND DRAGGED DOWNSTAIRS WITH MY HAIR’
Sahil Sharma, a 22-year-old guitarist, narrated the horrific ordeal to Born of Web, saying the bouncers didn’t stop beating him even when other guests tried to intervene. “We got off the stage around midnight. We stayed back a little to chill at the venue. I noticed my sound engineer (Mayank Tiwari) having an argument with the bartender over the bill. The bartender (as named Harpal Singh in the FIR) had charged him extra for a couple of pints (beer). When the argument became louder, I intervened and asked them to calm down. We wanted to settle the bill and leave. But the bartender turned hostile and began to threaten us. He told Mayank, ‘Tu bahar chal tujhe main batata hun.’ I also requested the manager to stop them but he was standing like a mute spectator. Suddenly, the bartender attacked me, tried to strangle me for good 10-20 seconds before I could retaliate. They called in bouncers who dragged us outside and started punching us. The two bouncers dragged me downstairs with my head banging on each step for two floors. Some people tried to stop them but couldn’t help. Finally, on the ground floor, some outsiders including my other band members noticed the brutality and saved us,” said Sahil Sharma, who has filed the police complaint.
Sahil said the ordeal didn’t stop even when the cops arrived. “Someone had already dialled the cops. The police constable came and pushed me along with the bartender inside the vehicle. He also drew a bouncer who was not even involved in the case while the culprits ran away. The bartender and the bouncer threatened me and then attacked again inside the vehicle. I had to fight back in that scenario,” claimed Sahil.
THE RESTAURANT MANAGER IS ‘SORRY’ ABOUT THE INCIDENT!
Born of Web spoke to restaurant’s manager Anil Bisht who gave slightly vague explanation of the incident. “Yes, the conflict happened over the bill. According to the bartender, the boy had six beers but they were ready to pay for only four pints. I was not at that particular spot when the argument was happening. When I reached there, I tried to talk to the boys but the bouncers had arrived at the same time. They took them out as we didn’t want any conflict inside the restaurant. Bouncers told me later that the boys were abusing them and even hit them. So they had to defend themselves,” said Anil, claiming that no physical conflict took place inside the pub.
However, it is shocking that the manager didn’t bother to step out or check on the bouncers. Asked why he didn’t pacify the musicians who performed at their venue or even step outside to resolve the issue amicably, he said, “I feel sorry. Had I handled the situation in a better way, this would not have happened.”
FIR AGAINST THE MUSICIAN TOO!
According to a report carried by The Hindu, an FIR has also been lodged against musician Sahil Sharma. “Mr. Sharma has been booked under the same sections as Mr. Singh and also under Sections 186, 332, 353 based on Head Constable Sunil Kumar’s complaint as he had allegedly abused him and torn his uniform,” Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Chinmoy Biswal was quoted as saying.
THE BAR RELEASES CCTV FOOTAGE
In multiple Facebook posts, Turqoise Cottage has released an edited clip from their CCTV record, a copy of their FIR and an image of an injured staff member. The video does show an argument between the staff and musicians but ends abruptly when bouncers arrive. The bar has also put up a long post on Facebook denying any foul from their side. In fact, the post claims that the gentleman (Sahil Sharma) lost his balance and hurt himself’ while he was being escorted out. You can read their response below:
Here’s the video clip released by the restaurant!
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