Police commissioner Rakesh Maria suspended eight cops, including senior inspector of Malwani police station Prakash Patil, on Friday for negligence in the spurious liquor case that claimed 56 lives.
Maria confirmed four officers and an equal number of constables have been suspended.
Apart from Patil, assistant police inspector Jagdish Panhale, police sub-inspector (PSI) Shankar Gharge, PSI Manisha Shirsat, head constables Rammilan Singh, Arun Jadhav and Vilas Desai and police naik Sanjay Mane have been suspended.
Crime branch, which took over the investigations from the Malwani police, arrested Raju Hanmanta Pascar alias Raju Langada (50), Donald Robert Patel (47), and Gautam Harte (30) on Friday morning. They were remanded to police custody till June 26.
Two more arrests were made in the evening. Francis Thomas D’Mello (46) and Salim Mehboob Shaikh alias Gentle (39), both from Kharodi Ali Talao area in Malwani, were held on the charges of supplying liquor, crime branch sources said. D’Mello and Shaikh will be produced in court on Saturday.
Ironically, Patil was promoted as an assistant commissioner of police and transferred to Ahmednagar a few days back. Sources said he was to be relieved shortly. Police officers said most of them are from Beat number 2, Gate number 7 police chowky, under whose jurisdiction the spurious country liquor was being sold.
Sources said after the deaths, the police have found Malwani is full such illicit liquor dens and most bootleggers in the area have fled after Thursday’s incident. Senior officers suspect that either the police were being paid to look the other way or they were not aware of these dens.