Was arrested by the Mumbai Police in the early hours of Tuesday at a club in Mumbai
Suresh Raina, the former India batsman, was arrested by the Mumbai Police in the early hours of Tuesday for violating the social-distancing norms set by the Indian government amid the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the night curfew imposed by the Maharashtra government.
Raina was one of 34 people arrested and booked under various criminal codes, but later released on bail. He was in Mumbai on personal work and the arrests occurred at the Dragonfly Experience, a club near the Mumbai airport.
The arrests came hours after the Maharashtra government triggered the night curfew from December 22 to January 5 as a precautionary measure. According to Manjunath Singe, deputy commissioner, Mumbai Police, “legal action” was taken against Raina and the others arrested at the club.
“It is a violation of government instructions because the government has asked them [people] not to party beyond certain time, so they have violated that rule,” Singe told ESPNcricinfo. “They were taken into custody and left immediately on bail.”
According to Singe, Raina and the others have been booked under sections 188 and 269 of the Indian Penal Code and section 38 of the Mumbai Police Act.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Raina said he was unaware of the rules and restrictions, and “regrets” the “unintentional incident”. “Suresh was in Mumbai for a shoot which extended to late hours and was invited by a friend for a quick dinner post the same prior to him taking his flight back to Delhi,” the statement said. “He was not aware of the local timings and protocols. Once pointed out, he immediately complied with the procedures laid out by the authorities and regrets the unfortunate and unintentional incident. He always holds rules and laws laid down by governing bodies with the highest regard and will continue to do so in the future as well.”
This is the second time in five months that he has been in the news for non-cricketing reasons. Raina, who retired from international cricket on August 15 this year, had abruptly left the IPL’s bio-secure bubble in the UAE later that month and returned to India citing personal reasons. While the real reasons for Raina’s return from the IPL remain undisclosed, it is understood that at the time he told the Chennai Super Kings team management that he had apprehensions about staying in a bio-secure bubble – several of the Super Kings contingent tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of IPL 2020.
Raina has been named in his state team Uttar Pradesh’s probables for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (India’s domestic T20s), which will be played between January 10 and 31 at various venues across India. Uttar Pradesh are slated in Elite Group A, which will play the league phase of the tournament in Bengaluru.
Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo