The cases of people carrying liquor illegally from Mumbai to the dry state of Gujarat have almost doubled in the year 2021, with the Railway Protection Force (RPF) of Western Railway (WR) registering 239 such cases in the last eight months – between January and August 2021.
During this period, 9,676 bottles of Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) and 4,668.35 litres of country liquor was seized. The value of the seized liquor is around Rs 13.14 lakh and 222 accused persons have been arrested by the RPF in different trains.
In the first eight months of 2020, 90 such cases were registered and 86 accused were arrested. Similarly, between January and August 2019, 119 such cases were registered and 127 accused persons were arrested by the RPF of WR.
The officials seized over 5,000 litres of liquor, including over 4,600 bottles of IMFL, in the first eight months of 2020, which was valued at over Rs 6.27 lakh. A total of 11,486 bottles of IMFL of various brands valued at over Rs 8.17 lakh were seized in the first eight months of 2019.
A WR official said that as per the Railway Act, no one is allowed to carry alcohol or any intoxicating substances on the rail property or any property owned by the railway authorities. Offenders caught are handed over to the GRP for further action under the Indian Penal Code. Another senior officer said, “Most of these people carry alcohol for a small amount of money. The groups keep relevant information like the number of the trains which have police escorts and avoid them.”
Confirming the development, Praveen Chandra Sinha, Inspector General (IG) of Railway Protection Force (RPF) said all efforts are being made to control this menace. An officer, who supervises a special squad formed by WR to nab these offenders, said that these smugglers mostly board trains during the day from stations beyond Dahanu, mostly from lesser-known places like Udhwada and Umargaon around Vapi.
Officials said liquor smuggling is also done by women who wrap themselves with liquor bottles and then wear a jacket over it to avoid being caught.
Another modus operandi is to board outstation trains from suburban stations and pull emergency chains near deserted spots to load liquor crates. These spots are mostly where roads run adjacent to railway tracks beyond Dahanu, added an RPF official.
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