Yet another illicit liquor brewing unit (haath-bhatti) was busted by the Thane (rural) police, in the coastal area of Uttan near Bhayandar. As usual, officials from the Excise Department continued to turn a blind eye to the illegal activities. Based on a specific tip-off, a team led by Assistant Police Inspector Satish Nikam unearthed the illicit manufacturing unit that had been set up on an open space amidst a sprawling banana farm located in Shiregaon area of Uttan on Wednesday evening.
Raw ingredients including fermented jaggery wash and other manufacturing equipment were seized by the police team. While the police destroyed the equipment and chemicals used to brew the illicit liquor, no one was arrested in the operation as the miscreants including the den operator had managed to escape even before the police team could reach the spot.
Despite being saddled with a daunting task of implementing the lockdown, apart from regular crime prevention duties, the overburdened police force led by SP Dr Shivaji Rathod has launched a crackdown to weed out the illegalities; however, officials from the excise department have mysteriously refrained from taking action against the notorious booze mafia.
Meanwhile, a case under section 65-f (uses, keeps or has in his possession any materials, still utensils, implements or apparatus for the purpose of manufacturing any intoxicant) of the Bombay Prohibition Act has been registered in this context at the Uttan coastal police station. Further investigations were on.