If you thought adulterating milk meant diluting it with water, here’s a disgusting reality check. Cops caught four milk vendors red-handed selling milk packets mixed with sewage water to customers in Vile Parle (East) yesterday. The milk vendors were engaged in this act since the past six months and were using empty milk packets that they collected from garbage bins.
Acting on a tip-off, Vile Parle cops arrested Ramesh Jhala (32), Ravi Anguri (29), Narsingh Ongalu (29) and Anjaya Ongalu (42) and seized 181 adulterated milk packets and 160 litres of adulterated milk. “They were playing with the lives of their customers, especially children. It is not just adulteration but a slow poison for consumers,” said a police officer from Vile Parle police station.
“The accused used to fill adulterated milk into empty milk packets that were collected from garbage bins. The arrested accused used to supply milk on cycles in Vile parle. They have been charged under section 272, 273, 420 and 34 of the IPC and under several sections under the prevention of food adulteration act,” said Bhausaheb Tavre police inspector at Vile Parle police station. Cops are further investigating the matter to ascertain if the accused are part of a larger racket.
The accused were produced at Bandra Magistrate court and have been remanded to police custody till May 31. Further elaborating on the modus operandi, cops informed that the accused had devised two methods to adulterate milk packets. In the first method, they would tear open branded milk packets, and mix dirty water in them before sealing them with a stapling machine.
In the second method, the vendors would rummage through garbage bins and collect empty milk packets. They would then fill 60 per cent milk in the packet and mix it with 40 per cent gutter water, and seal it with a burning candle. Cops got specific information about milk adulteration being carried out in Vile Parle (E) from an informer on Sunday, and under the supervision of senior police inspector Talegaonkar, PI Tavre hatched a plan with PSI Vidhate, Patil and Mudhiraj to nab them. On Monday at around 7 am when the accused were about to sell the milk packets, cops arrested them. Cops have now requested residents to destroy empty milk packets, so that they cannot be used again.