Shiv Sena's Beed district president Kundlik Khande and 6 others have been booked in a case related to recovery of banned gutka here in central Maharashtra, police said on Wednesday.
Two persons have been arrested in the case, they said.
A team led by Assistant Police Superintendent (APS) Pankaj Kumavat raided two shops in Nandurghat village under Kej taluka of the district on Tuesday and seized some gutka, they said.
Later, another team led by Kumavat seized items worth Rs 36 lakh, including gutka valued at Rs 22 lakh and a tempo, from two warehouses in Beed city, the police said.
According to police officials, "We received a tip-off that gutka has been stored and is being sold in shops in Nandurghat village. APS Pankaj Kumavat and his team raided two shops in the village.
"Shiv Sena district unit president Kundlik Khande's name cropped up when the shop owners were interrogated by the ASP and his team." After questioning the shop owners, police teams raided the two warehouses in the city and made the recoveries, the officials said.
A case was filed at the Kej police station regarding the recovery of gutka and seven persons, including Khande, were booked, they said.
Khande has denied any involvement in the case.
In a statement, the Sena leader termed the case as politically motivated and a conspiracy to defame him.
"I have nothing to do with the gutka case and the truth will come out very soon," he added.
Sale, manufacture and consumption of gutka, scented and flavoured tobacco have been banned in Maharashtra since 2012.
In 2018, the state government made sale of gutka a non-bailable offence and enhanced the punishment for it from six months to three years.
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