MUMBAI: In the wake of the Malad hooch tragedy that has claimed nearly hundred lives so far, Maharashtra Minister Eknath Shinde today said he has ordered
wiping out of the 'haath bhattis' (furnaces) in Thane district, where hooch is distilled.
"Around a hundred people have lost their lives after drinking adulterated liquor at Malwani in Malad and the number is only increasing by the day. In Thane district as well there are a number of places where illicit alcohol is being made and sold. I have immediately ordered officials that they identify all haath bhattis and destroy them," Shinde, who is the Guardian Minister of Thane district, told reporters here.
He said that he has also met the Thane Police Commissioner, police officials from the Thane (Rural) region and the Excise Department officials and have instructed them to immediately arrest those caught manufacturing and selling illicit liquor.
"Human life is important. We cannot let the Malwani incident be repeated in Thane in future and necessary steps need to be taken before a tragedy strikes," Shinde said.
The incident that occurred at Laxmi Nagar slum near Gamdevi Jurassic Park in Malwani in suburban Malad on Wednesday night has resulted in a political outcry, with the opposition Congress demanding the resignation of state Excise Minister Eknath Khadse.
Five people have already been arrested in this connection, while eight personnel of Malwani police station have been suspended.