Mumbai hooch tragedy: 74 deaths, 48 hours later, BJP MP Gopal Shetty reaches Malvani

Mumbai(web team): After 74 deaths and 48 hours, Bharatiya Janata Party’s Mumbai North MP Gopal Shetty has reached Malvani, where people lost lives to spurious liquor. Shetty, who has been deputy mayor of Mumbai and represents Mumbai North Loksabha constituency in which Malvani lies, offered Rs 5000 to the families of those deceased.

Death toll in the Malwani hooch tragedy case has increased to 74 and 21 others are still battling for their lives in hospitals. Eight policemen from Malwani police station have been reportedly suspended in the matter. While so far five persons have been arrested by the crime branch in the case, an enquiry has been constituted to probe connivance from the part of the policemen.

Those suspended have been identified as senior police inspector Prakash Patil, assistant police inspector Jagdish Panhale, sub-inspectors Shankar Gharge, Manisha Shirsat and head constables Ram Milan Singh, Arun Jadhav, Sanjay Mane and Vilas Desai.

The Democratic Youth Federation of India is planning protest at 5 pm in the evening over the incident.

According to Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria, an enquiry has been constituted to probe the connivance of cops in this case with the bootleggers involved in the case. “As beat officials the suspended policemen should have been aware about the bootleggers. It is shocking that there there are no cases against the culprits arrested in this case since past ten years with the Malwani police,” Maria told dna. He added that, senior inspector Patil has been suspended on the grounds of negligence.

The police also elaborate details of the accused persons involved in this tragedy. The cops have so far arrested Raju Hanmanta Pascar alias Langda, 50, Donald Robert Patel, 47, Gautam Harte, 30, Salimuddin Shaikh and Francis D’mello. “The investigations have so far revealed that Shaikh and D’mello are the main suppliers of the hooch. Harte was the carrier who used to take the consignment of hooch from Shaih and D’mello and deliver it to Pascar and Patel,” said an officer who is associated with the probe.

The cops are now on the lookout for a woman identified as Beena for her alleged involvement in the case. The police sources said that they have got details about whereabouts of Beena and that she would be arrested soon.

Meanwhile, Pascar, Patel and Harte were produced before a local court on Friday which remanded them to police custody till June 26. The police have also sent samples of liquor to the forensic department for examination. They were booked under sections 304 (Punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder) 328 (causing hurt by means of poison), 114 (Abettor present when offence is committed) of the Indian Penal Code and relevent sections of Maharashtra Prohibition Act.

According to the police, victims were labourers and residents of slums in Rathori Gaon in Laxmi Nagar near Gamdevi Jurrasic Park of Malwani. “On Thursday morning they had consumed spurious liquor after which some of them had breathing issues, vomiting and loose motions. Initially the injured persons were rushed to Surana Hospital, rest were to Shatabdi Hospital,” said an officer from Malwani police station.

Considering seriousness of the case, police Chief Rakesh Maria had handed over the probe to Crime Branch.

With updates from