In November, the Mumbai police will have its own special anti-piracy squad to curb film and video piracy.
Home Minister R.R. Patil has told the police to increase their vigilance against pirated film vendors. He made the decision last week after members of Alliance Against Copyright Theft (AACT) met him.
The Social Service branch police officers said the team would have 20 members who would accompany the AACT members during raids.
The Maharashtra Home Department will soon appoint a team to stop the business along with an anti-piracy law it has implemented.
“The state government is keen to destroy the nexus of the piracy business and a team would be appointed to stop the practice,” Patil said earlier in the week. After the AACT launched a toll free anti-piracy helpline in July, it has helped enforcement authorities in seizing more pirated material and cracking down on individual vendors. The helpline allows people to register complaints without revealing their identity. Sources said there were 600 complaints in July alone.
Based on the intelligence from citizens, raids were conducted at places including Andheri, Santacruz, Kandivli and Kurla in July.
The Social Service Branch officers, along with the AACT, conducted raids and seized pirated DVDs worth Rs 1.42 crore from January — June in the city.
In July, AACT seized another 5 lakh pirated DVDs in Maharatshtra and Gujarat worth Rs 50 lakh. Sheela Sail, deputy commissioner of police, said: “We are in the process to create a special team to crack down on piracy.”
Sanjay Tandon, vice-president of Reliance Big Entertainment and Founder Member, AACT said: “Our process will become much quicker after we join the special squad.”