A paan-shop owner of Rajkot has come under the scanner of the Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) after officers of the civic body found 34 tins of beer from the outlet on Friday. Police say the owner has a liquor permit but civic officers suspect that he used to lace lime with beer to spike his paans.
Health officer of RMC were conducting routine inspection at shops and eateries on Friday when they noticed the consignment of Carlsberg’s Elephant brand of beer in Pink Pan, a paan outlet on Tagore Road. “While checking cold-drink bottles stored in a refrigerator, our staff spotted 34 tins of beer. They immediately informed police control-room and the shop-owner was handed over to police,” chief health officer of RMC, Dr Vijay Pandya said on Saturday.
During inquiry, the city police found that shop-owner Manoj Savsani had a permit to consume liquor and therefore the stock of beer was legal. “However, RMC officers suspect that the shop-owner used to spike lime slurry with beer to make his paans more tasty. RMC officers have told us that they have taken samples of the lime slurry,” Rajkot city police commissioner Mohan Jha told The Indian Express.
Savsani was taken to A Division police station after the complaint of RMC officers. “We recorded his statement and after he produced his liquor permit, we returned Savsani his 11 tins of beer and allowed him to go,” A Division police sub-inspector Janak Rana said.
While RMC officials said there were 34 tins in Savsani’s shop, police said they had count of only 11.
The pan shop is located a few yards from SV Virani High School, School No.57 of RMC and Maharani Laxmibai High School for girls, also run by the the civic body.
“If the shop-owner was spiking lime with beer, it is a very serious matter. Besides, the area has lots of educational institutes. Keeping all this in mind, a PSI will conduct an inquiry. If it is found that conditions of liquor permit were breached, the it will be cancelled,” the police commissioner further said.
Municipal commissioner Vijay Nehra also said that they would follow police action closely. “We shall wait and watch to know what police investigation finds. Furthermore, if it is found that he was flouting conditions of his shop licence by storing beer there, we shall explore the possibility of revoking the licence,” said Nehra.