Is the district authority of Thane waiting for a replay of a Malad-like hooch tragedy of 2015 or the recent incident in Punjab which claimed more than 80 lives due to consumption of illicit liquor? Undeterred by the police crackdown on their activities, the notorious liquor mafia, appear to have brazenly continued with their nefarious activities, amid the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
In brazen violation of the ongoing lockdown in the twin-city, a duo landed in police custody after they were caught red handed while transporting illicit liquor in an auto-rickshaw near Morwa village in Bhayandar on Friday night.
The vehicle and the illicit liquor manufactured in a haath-bhatti (manual brewing unit) was seized by the police team. The accused duo who have been identified as- Pratik Chorat, 22 and Ashirwad Patil, 39 - both residents of Morwa have been booked under section 65-A of the Bombay Prohibition Act. This apart from relevant sections of the IPC and the stringent Epidemic Act and Maharashtra Covid-19 regulations, police said.
However, the actual source of the illicit liquor is yet to be ascertained even as the mastermind of the racket continues to remain elusive. While the excise department continues to play blind, the Thane (rural) police led by SP Dr. Shivaji Rathod and Additional SP- Sanjay Kumar Patil have been busting illicit liquor brewing units and taking action against bootleggers, who were found to be ferrying and selling country made liquor. Several cases have been registered at police stations in both the divisions since the nationwide lockdown was imposed in March, this year.