The LGBTQ+ community doesn’t seem to have it easy in any part of the world. This is a terrifying and unfortunate truth really.

Even in the so-called more developed areas, LGBT discrimination and crime continue to exist, people are still gripped by prejudice, stereotypes and whatnot. When India finally abolished Section 377 and decriminalised same-sex relations, it was a momentous occasion honestly.

However, it was just one battle won and onto the next, this one even bigger, because now it was time for the society to really be faced with the community and come to terms that yes these things exist, such people exist and they are not some crazed possessed demon who will lead the society into ruins.

But every day its becoming clear this is going to be a very long and difficult battle, since some people even under the guise of supporting the community still hold onto anti-LGBT opinions.

You might be wondering how all this is connected to Zomato still hosting some lounge and what happened.

The Case Of The Bar Heist Restaurant

On July 27th, 2022, news came out that a 21-year-old youth had died after they fell from the second floor of a hotel in Pune called ‘The Bar Heist’. The lounge located in Pune’s Wakad area was hosting an event organised by the Mist LGBT Foundation. The foundation is a city-based organisation that works to ’empower’ the LGBT+ community.

The actual incident occurred on 24th July around 10.30 pm when Abhay Gondane and his friend Mannat Shaikh were present at this particular event. Gondane, who was also identified among his friends as ‘Shrey’ was a transgender and as per sources stepped up when his friend Mannat Shaikh, a transwoman, was being harassed by the owner of the palace Anurag Gole to dance on the bar table.

According to reports, Shaikh in a statement said that “The owner seemed to have a problem with transgender persons. He was mocking me, and when he asked me to dance on the table, I did it just to teach him a lesson. But his wife asked me to get down, and there was a small altercation. When he did the same again, Shrey asked him to back off. Suddenly, there was uncontrollable chaos.

The bouncers started hitting both of us, glasses were broken, and we were hit. Chairs were thrown at us. I saw Shrey running out, before I became unconscious. That was the last time I ever saw him. When I woke up, the bar was almost empty. I thought he must have escaped, imagine my shock when I saw him lying in a pool of bed almost half hour later.”

The Quint also spoke to an eyewitness of the incident and they said “The bouncers were hitting him with a chair, and he just wanted to escape. When there was no other way, he had to jump to escape but as he hit the ground, he was injured badly. He was lying in a pool of blood. But no one went to help him, not even the organiser. Everyone was planning their exit.”

Read More: Does DU Make An LGBTQ Student Feel Safe?

A case was registered against the owner and staff of the lounge at the Wakad police station, under Sections 304 (ii), 326 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means), 324, 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 143 (whoever is a member of an unlawful assembly), 148 (rioting, armed with a deadly weapon) and 149 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Satyavan Mane senior police inspector at Wakad police station stated that “We have registered a case against owner and other staff of the hotel as CCTV footage clearly shows that they were assaulted by hotel staff.”

Afterward, he was taken to the Aditya Birla Hospital and then shifted to Sassoon hospital after some time but eventually could not make it and passed away.

How Is Zomato Connected?

On 13th September 2022, the Instagram page @yesweexistindia, which raises awareness about LGBTQIA+ community issues and news made a post about it.

In it, they wrote “In July 2022, the owner and staff of a bar in Pune called The Bar Heist violently attacked a young trans woman and her queer friend, Abhay Gondane aka Shrey, over a petty argument, which led to Shrey’s death.

An FIR had been filed against the owner of the bar, Anurag Gole, his wife (who started the fight), DJ Ganesh Daga and other staff members — who were taken into police custody after the incident. We informed all of the above to @zomato and @deepigoyal however the company continues to host the business on its platform without any warning or caution.

Moreover, it deleted all reviews that were cautioning other guests about the safety issues associated with this business. Zomato did this citing that the reviews violated their content guidelines.”

They called out Zomato for still hosting the restobar on their website and also allegedly deleting negative comments that talked about the incident.

The comment of Zomato stated by the Instagram post still remains to be cleared up on how authentic it is. I’ve reached out to the page on message, however, have not yet received a response.

This post will be updated if and when more information is received.

Image Credits: Google Images

Feature Image designed by Saudamini Seth

Sources: Hindustan Times, Pune Mirror, Instagram

Find the blogger: @chirali_08

This post is tagged under: Zomato Trans, Wakad, bar heist, bar heist pune, bar heist hotel, bar heist hotel pune, bar heist trans youth, bar heist hotel pune controvery, bar heist hotel pune case, Wakad police, zomato, anti lgbt, transphobia, transphobia india, lgbt, lgbt india, lgbt india issues

Disclaimer: We do not hold any right, copyright over any of the images used, these have been taken from Google. In case of credits or removal, the owner may kindly mail us.

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