Following the Election Commissions directive to prevent the flow of free liquor ahead of the Lok Sabha polls,the police have arrested 10 bootleggers,including a sarpanch from Dahod district,under the Prevention of Anti-Social Activities (PASA) Act. The arrests have been made across three districts of central Gujarat.
Officials said the arrests have been made to stop the flow of free liquor,which is often used to buy votes,especially in the tribal dominated areas.
Dahod Superintendent of Police Vipul Aggarwal said that Bharat Ranchod Parmar,the sarpanch of Pancheli village in Devgadh Baria taluka,was arrested under PASA for running a bootlegging racket.
Parmar wielded immense clout in the area and abused his position to smuggle liquor and run a racket in the city. He has been sent to the Jamnagar jail, said Aggarwal. He added the arrests were made following orders issued by District Collector R M Jadhav.
Meanwhile,the Vadodara district Local Crime Branch (LCB) made three arrests in the district. Ranga alias Rangla Rathwa and Bhavi alias Noora Rathwa were arrested under PASA from the Mota Amdadra village in Pavi Jetpur taluka for running a bootlegging racket. One Gulli alias Lakshman Parmar was arrested from Sihron Village of Savli for a similar reason. LCB officials said several cases were pending against these criminals for breaking prohibition laws since February 2009.
In Panchmahals district,six bootleggers were arrested by the district administration as part of the preventive arrests. We have sent them to the Jamnagar jail. They were the usual suspects, said Panchmahals Superintendent of Police J R Mothaliya.
Senior district officials said the arrests were a routine affair before any election,as most of these bootleggers served alcohol to the contestants in a bid to influence the voters. This is to prevent the flow of alcohol during the election,when voters,especially in the interior tribal areas,are given free liquor, said a senior district administration official from Dahod under condition of anonymity.