A crackdown on smuggling of liquor to Gujarat from Mumbai via outstation trains has led to 201 such cases of smuggling being registered and 219 people arrested till August this year by the Railway Protection Force (RPF) on the western line. A total of 125 cases were registered in the same period last year.
Officials said that most bottles are loaded on the trains as goods from and around Vapi , which are then transported to Gujarat.
Investigators said the accused board trains from stations beyond Dahanu, mostly from less-known places like Udhwada and Umargaon around Vapi and the stock is unloaded in batches at Valsad, Surat, Ankleshwar and Baroda stations.
The officials said after the crackdown begun by the RPF on stations, from where the bootlegging gangs would load the bottles on trains, they started their activities from the isolated spots between two stations, along the tracks.
Investigations by RPF revealed that these persons would have their person in the train headed to Gujarat, who would pull the emergency chain between two stations, leading to stoppage of the train. The gang then loaded the bottles before the trains left again.
This modus was unravelled after the incidents of emergency chain pulling went up on spots before Gujarat border. Several special teams were made by the RPF and some personnel were also posted on the outstation trains that were regularly affected by these illegal stoppages.
The RPF officials would keep watch on those who would board the trains when they were stopped at an unscheduled spot.
“Citing the different ways and means being used by these people, we have also been changing our policing type and that has helped us increase the number of cases registered against such persons. We are planning more such action on these gangs,” said Anand Vijay Jha, senior divisional security commissioner of RPF, (WR).
The RPF has seized 18,430 liquor bottles between January and August this year. In all, 12.41 lakh litres of liquor of various brands was seized.
The number has spiked from 11,622 bottles, which were seized in the same period last year, from 145 accused who were apprehended with 1.57 lakh litres of liquor, official statistics revealed.
Spike in smuggling
The RPF lack powers to prosecute and hence they hand over offenders to the Government Railway Police (GRP) for further action under the Indian Penal Code (IPC)
-Several organised gangs operate on outskirts of Mumbai and smuggle Indian-made liquor to Gujarat from Palghar district
RPF presence has been increased in the section (Dahanu-Daman-Vapi) that sees rampant smuggling of liquor
RPF personnel ordered to conduct checks of the luggage of those who are identified to be travelling too frequently and suspicious people
New RPF station coming up at Vapi to begin functioning in couple of months to counter the problem of liquor smuggling
Seizure of liquor by RPF on Western Railway
Cases (till Aug) Quantity Bottles Cost Arrests
2016 201 18,430 Rs15 lakh 219
2015 125 11,622 Rs7.57 lakh 145
2014 17 1,048 Rs36,040 19
How to contact the railway police
In case of distress, you can call the Government Railway Police on their help line number, 9833331111, the Railway Protection Force on 182/1275/1311 or the Mumbai police control on 100.
You can also telephone the GRP commissioner on 022-23759251 or firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also upload your complaints to www.facebook.com/mumbairailwaypolice
Women can send their complaints by WhatsApp to 9833312222
Complaints can also be lodged via the ‘Pratisaad’ link at helpline.mumbairlypolice.gov.in.in