The joint commissioner of police, Sanjay Saxena, has reviewed the Malwani hooch case and the prosecution is likely to frame its charges soon, said sources. While two accused are wanted, 14 accused are in judicial custody for selling spurious liquor, which left 106 people from Malwani dead on June 18, 2015.
The methanol used to prepare the hooch was obtained from Gujarat, but, sources said, the wanted accused may also be involved in smuggling in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. The duo used to get methanol from arrested accused -- Irfan and Mansoor Khan alias Ateeq – operating from Gujarat.
Among those arrested are bootleggers from Malwani, agents and dealers of methanol from Mumbai and Gujarat.
The main accused, Bharat Patel, was arrested in August. “The witnesses are of key importance and they will be examined based on facts. The charge sheet is strong. We have ample evidence against the accused responsible for the act. In this case, they are not offering liquor, but a chemical that leads to death,” said Pradeep Gharat, special public prosecutor in the case.
Chimaji Adhav, investigating officer, crime branch, unit 11, said, “We are looking for the suspects. The seized methanol and mobile phone records of the suppliers, dealers and agents will strengthen our case.”
The crime branch has submitted a 13,760-page charge sheet, with statements of 577 witnesses.
In the aftermath of the incident, eight police officers, including Malwani police senior inspector Prakash Patil was suspended, along with an assistant inspector, two sub-inspectors and four constables. The excise department also suspended four excise personnel, including an inspector, sub-inspectors and two constables. The suspended officers have not been reinstated.