OVER A year after 106 people lost their lives after consuming spurious liquor in Malvani, the trial has begun in the case in the Mumbai sessions court. The court is examining the first witness in the case, the station house officer of Malvani police station, under whose jurisdiction the incident had taken place.
Amrut Laxman Pawar, who is also the complainant in the case, deposed before Judge RK Malabade on Wednesday. Pawar told the court that on July 18, 2015, he had received information from another police personnel that a person was found lying unconscious near a lake in Malvani.
Pawar said he had rushed to the spot and taken the person to Shatabdi Hospital for treatment but the man was declared dead on admission.
The assistant police inspector deposed before the court that at one of the gates of Prime Hospital, he had come across three more men, who had died due to consumption of spurious liquor. His further deposition was on his visits to three other hospitals in Malvani, where he came across more persons having died or undergoing treatment.
Pawar submitted that at one of the hospitals, he had recorded the statement of Lakshman Dhotre, who was undergoing treatment. “The man told me that he had consumed liquor at the den owned by Raju Langada (main accused Raju Tapkar),” Pawar told the court. He further submitted that Dhotre had said he was feeling uneasy a few hours after the consumption of the liquor and had visited a local doctor. He said Dhotre’s condition had deteriorated despite the doctor’s visit and his family had by then heard about others too showing similar symptoms.
The victims of the worst ever tragedy in the city involving spurious liquor had been from various areas of the northern suburb. The Mumbai Police had filed a chargesheet against 14 people who have pleaded not guilty of the charges, which include murder, attempt to murder, criminal conspiracy, against them.
“The accused depending on their roles are in three categories — those who ran the spurious liquor den, those who brought the liquor and delivered it in Malvani, and those who stole the industrial solvent methanol and transported it to Mumbai from Gujarat,” said special public prosecutor Pradeep Gharat.