The police in Maharashtra's Palghar district intercepted a tempo and seized a cache of gutka and banned tobacco products valued at Rs 48 lakh. This action comes in light of the strict ban on gutka in Maharashtra due to its association with cancer-causing substances, stated a report in PTI.
Acting on actionable intelligence, law enforcement officials halted a tempo travelling from Gujarat at the Dapchari checkpost on Friday. Upon inspection, they discovered 20 large blue bags within the vehicle, the report stated. Senior Inspector Anil Vibhute of the local crime branch in Palghar confirmed that these bags contained gutka and other prohibited tobacco products, the combined value of which amounted to Rs 48 lakh.
The driver of the intercepted tempo, identified as Raju Ukarde (34), admitted to transporting the banned products from Gujarat to Pune, according to police reports.
According to the report, this incident has led to the registration of a case under both the Indian Penal Code and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations. Authorities are taking a rigorous approach to ensure that those involved in the illegal trade of such harmful substances face the full extent of the law.
The ban on gutka and other tobacco products in Maharashtra is part of ongoing efforts to curb the health hazards associated with their consumption, particularly the increased risk of cancer. The strict enforcement of these bans is crucial in safeguarding public health and preventing the circulation of these harmful items. The ban on the sale and consumption of gutka, scented and flavoured tobacco in Maharashtra came into effect in 2012; since 2018 the government has made sale of the banned product a non-bailable offence and enhanced punishment for it from six months to three years.
In a similar incident last month, Palghar police seized banned gutkha worth Rs 56.9 lakh from eight vehicles and arrested three persons who were allegedly transporting it illegally in the state, according to the PTI report. The police were acting on a tip-off and intercepted seven tempos and a truck near Sasoon Navghar at Juchandra on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway. The banned product, allegedly, was being shifted from the truck to tempos for distribution in different locations in the Mira Bhayandar area and neighbouring Mumbai.
With PTI inputs