Police raided an illegal liquor manufacturing unit set up in the bushes of the riverbed in Saste Nagar in Moshi and arrested eight people on Thursday. The police recovered 18 drum-shaped tanks full of raw chemical and 25 barrels each holding 35 litres of liquor, 50 kg alum and 100 10-kg jagger blocks, among other things, all worth Rs 1.5 lakh from the spot.
The police said that three illegal liquor manufacturing units — known locally as hathbhattis — were operating at the spot. The eight arrested have been identified as Somnath Asaru Shinde, Kiran Dashrath Thakur, Harish Dashrath Thakur, Kokila Pyarelal Kanjarbhat, Dhandevi Arjun Kanjarbhat, Daya Ghumaran Choudhary alias Marwadi, Rushi Mohanlal Yadav, Raju Rajaram Yadav. Search is on for Arjun Limba Kanjarbhat and Lalji Ramkumar Yadav. Police have booked all 10 people under sections of the Maharashtra Prohibition Act.
Police suspect that the accused were operating the hathbhatti units for several days. The accused had buried the metallic drum-shaped tanks, which are eight feet in diameter and four feet in height and are used for storing the raw chemical, in the ground to hide them. “The accused were preparing hundreds of litres of liquor and selling it in the nearby areas,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (crime) Pankaj Dahane.
“Among the accused persons, Raju Rajaram Yadav was booked on nine offences, including eight house break-ins in the past. Also, accused Arjun, Kokila, Dhandevi, Daya and Lalji are history-sheeters booked in similar cases of illegal liquor,” said Senior Inspector Sanjay Patil.
The patrolling team of the social security cell of the crime branch which conducted the raid on a tip off, included assistant police inspector Chandrakant Jadhav, police naiks Pradeep Shelar, Rajesh Umbre and havaldars Nitin Tarte and Sanjay Girme.