Mumbai crime watch: Hooch brewing unit unearthed in Bhayandar

Two days after a gas-powered liquor brewing unit (haath-bhatti) was busted in the Dhaavgi, Uttan, officials from the newly created Mira Bhayandar- Vasai Virar (MBVV) Police Commissionerate unearthed another similar den in Bhayandar (west) on Thursday. The spate of raids has yet again exposed the blind eye turned by the excise officials towards the illegal activities of the notorious liquor mafia who have been brazenly registering their presence in the rural areas of Bhayandar (west) and coastal belt of Uttan, despite the police action. Notably, the excise department is headed by the district collector.

Acting on a specific tip-off by an informant, a team led by Senior Police Inspector Chandrkanat Jadhav under the supervision of ACP Shashikant Bhosale, swooped down on the illicit manufacturing unit that had been set up near the creeks adjacent to Manek Agar in the Rai village area of Bhayandar. Raw ingredients, including fermented jaggery wash and manufacturing equipment, worth more than Rs. 30,000 were seized and destroyed by the police team. The police arrested a person identified as Gajanan Hareshwar Patil who operated the unit. Isolated zones running deep into the jungles and marshy land in and around the villages of Bhayandar continue to be the favourite destinations for local brewers. "We will continue our actions against illicit liquor," said police commissioner Sadanand Date. 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) has been filed against the accused who has been remanded to custody. Further investigations were underway.

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