AFTER MEDIA reports claimed four men had made away with liquor bottles while the police and other authorities were destroying liquor consignment seized by Virpur police over the last seven years, Gondal city police have booked four men for the theft.
Rajendra Rana, police sub-inspector of Virpur police station filed a complaint with Gondal city police late on Saturday night. In his complaint, Rana said four labourers hired for loading and unloading of liquor bottles on vehicles stole away a few bottles while authorities were busy destroying 33,429 bottles of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) on a piece of government wasteland on Vora-Kotda road on the outskirts of Gondal town on June 13. The PSI named Mahesh Makwana alias Dogo of Virpur, Bhavesh Toliya of Gondal town, Ashwin Bagda alias Chako of Vora Kotda village and one unidentified man as accused.
Based on Rana’s complaint, Gondal city police station booked the four under IPC Section 379 (punishment for theft).
After getting due permissions from judicial magistrate (first class) of Jetpur, sub-divisional magistrate of Gondal, deputy superintendents of police of Jetpur and Gondal, Virpur police had loaded the IMFL bottles on four private trucks and transported it to the government wasteland near Vora Kotda for destroying them.
“We had hired eight to 10 labourers for loading the IMFL bottles on truck from the police station and unloading them at the place identified for destroying them. After scattering bottles on ground, a road-roller started crushing them. However, besides labourers hired by us, there were labourers engaged by Gondal Taluka police as liquor seized by Gondal Taluka police was destroyed before the one seized by Virpur police station. While the road-roller was crushing IMFL bottles, a few labourers made away with a few bottles meant to be destroyed. There were too many labourers and we had limited eyes to supervise them,” Rana told The Indian Express on Sunday.
The liquor bottles were seized by Virpur police station in 38 cases registered under Prohibition Act from 2012 to 2018.
“After media reports and posts on social media, we identified the thieves and have filed a complaint with Gondal city police station. We also detained Makwana, who is from Virpur, on Sunday evening and will hand over to Gondal city police station for further investigation,” the Virpur PSI further said adding they did not know the exact number of IMLF bottles the labourers had decamped with.
Jaysukh Mithapara, police sub-inspector of Gondal city police station said the investigation was ongoing. “We have launched an FIR and investigation is on. Nobody, however, has been detained or arrested so far,” said Mithapara.