Bhayandar: Sleuths of the Thane (rural) police, under the supervision of SP Dr Shivaji Rathod, seem to have trained their guns on illegal activities that were destroying the moral fabric of the younger generation.
A team led by Assistant Police Inspector Satish Nikam raided a hotel in Uttan, which was found to be operating a hookah joint in its premises to serve tobacco-laced products to its clientele.
Following information about the nefarious activities, police personnel swooped down on Hotel Hang Out in the Dongri area of Uttan, late on Friday night.
While three men, including the operator, were taken into custody, the raiding team seized a large number of hookah pipes, pots and other incriminating material from the spot.
Dozens of hookah joints that have sprung in the twin-city have transformed into vice dens that play host to locals, especially youngsters for substance abuse, as a part of their lifestyle.
Several such establishments that are clandestinely operating in the twin-city are using social media applications to communicate with their potential clients, sources said.
While the local civic authorities have blatantly ignored illegal constructions from which the dens operate, sans permissions, officials from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have apparently turned a blind eye on the unregulated use of toxic and banned tobacco substances.
Meanwhile, a case under the relevant sections of the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution Act) (COPTA), 2003 has been registered against the trio at the Uttan coastal police station.
By Suresh Golani