30 Bangalore school kids caught smoking ‘hookah’ in clubMarch 5th, 2012 - 11:53 pm ICT by IANS
Bangalore, March 5 (IANS) In a surprise raid on a snooker club in the heart of Bangalore, a team of civic body officials Monday caught about 30 students of a convent school smoking ‘hookah’ (hubble-bubble).
“About 30 students of Baldwin’s boys and girls high school were found smoking hookah in the snooker club during school timings. As they were minors reading in eighth-to-tenth class, we let them off with a warning but sealed the club for allowing them to indulge in an illegal act,” a Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) health official told IANS.
The snooker club is located on second floor of the Gold Tower shopping complex in upscale Residency Road near the 130-year-old convent school and has an attached bar and restaurant to entertain its members and guests.
“The raid was conducted on a tip-off and complaints from parents to the local ward corporator (Shivakumar) about the suspect activities of the club in the vicinity of the private school. We were shocked to find boys and girls in school uniforms and carrying books in backpacks having hookah in turns by coughing up about Rs.200-300,” BBMP deputy health officer S. Suresh said.
On a directive by the central and state governments under the Control of Tobacco Products Act 2004 (COTPA), the civic body passed a resolution a year ago to enforce the ban on smoking, including hookah in public places across the city.
“We also banned display and sale of tobacco products, including “gutkha” (tobacco-based beetle nuts) within 1 km of schools and colleges across the city on a directive by the Karnataka High Court to prevent students from getting addicted to such health hazards,” Suresh said.
Though bars and restaurants challenged the ban arguing that hookah did not fall in the tobacco category, the high court upheld it (ban order) as tobacco leaves were used in the instrument with a long pipe to inhale the smoke.
“We have also informed the school authorities to beware of its students indulging in such activities during school timings and to alert all parents to keep a watch on their wards outside the school,” BBMP spokesman S.S. Khandre told IANS.
An official of the school, however, declined to comment saying he was not aware of what happened outside the school premises.
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Tags: civic body, convent school, girls high school, girls in school uniforms, gold tower, health officer, health official, hookah, hubble bubble, karnataka high court, residency road, s suresh, school authorities, shivakumar, shopping complex, snooker club, state governments, surprise raid, tobacco leaves, tobacco products act