In Gujarat, the police has begun cracking down on prohibition cases, as they conducted surprise raids at several places in the past two days. besides this, the raids are being conducted aggressively and are getting recorded on a camera, so that the footage could be made public if required. This news comes just after the devasting hooch tragedy in Barwala Taluka that killed nearly 60 people.
During these raids, in Valsad, the authorities arrested a police sub-inspector and three police constables of Valsad police, and 15 others who were having a liquor party in Atul village. As many as 18 bottles of Indian-Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) worth Rs26.14 lakh were seized from the venue. Valsad District Superintendent of Police Rajeedsinh Jhala said, “We will take departmental and legal actions against the police personnel who had left their headquarter and attended the liquor party.”
Such raids were carried out in Vadodara as well. Since Tuesday, Vadodara city police booked 167 cases under the Prohibition Act. They have arrested 83 accused, including 56 for consumption of alcohol, and confiscated 627 litres of countrymade liquor worth Rs12,740. The police has also seized IMFL worth Rs 13,640.
In Dharmaj town of Anand, when the police barged in with cameras, an alleged 42-year-old bootlegger had a severe panic attack and died. The police also had to clash with some of the locals in the area. The police have booked 108 cases in the district in the last two days.
Ahmedabad city police arrested 102 persons and seized 1,003 litres of countrymade liquor, one bottle IMFL, 12 beer cans, and 29 quarter IMFL bottles.
The police also confiscated 1,316 bottles of IMFL in Vav taluka of Banaskantha Tuesday night worth Rs 1.2 lakh. According to police, a raid was conducted at the residence of Hiraji Rajput, a resident of Khimanapadar village in Vav taluka of Banaskantha, where police found liquor bottles stored in his bathroom. Rajput was then arrested.
Narsimha Komar, Additional director general of police, Law and Order, Gujarat, said that this was a regular activity and raids are conducted frequently in the state. However, currently, the police have initiated a special drive to crack down on prohibition cases.
The Congress party is questioning the motives behind these raids and accused the Bharatiya Janata Party-led state government of carrying out this special drive only after the hooch tragedy. Party Spokesperson Manish Doshi said, “The Gujarat police drive against bootleggers since the last two days is a clear example of the fact that the police is well aware of where bootleggers thrive and operate from. This action is a show after an incident… If the police desire, it can ensure that not a drop of alcohol is manufactured or sold illegally. But for that, it has to do its job wholeheartedly for the 365 days and not for two days, after which bootleggers will return to their den and it will be business as usual… “