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Anti-Narcotics Cell official suspended

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government on Monday suspended Anti-Narcotics Cell (ANC) police inspector Anil Jadhav following his arrest in a narcotics case. Mr. Jadhav and four others were arrested and 290 persons were detained by the police in a late-night crackdown on a rave party at hotel Mount View in Khalapur, Raigad district, on Sunday. Ironically enough, it was World Anti Narcotics Day.

“I have given directions to suspend him. The police will inquire into why he went there,” State Home Minister R.R. Patil told reporters here.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Namrata Patil told The Hindu over telephone that Mr. Jadhav (46) was booked for abetment of offence under section 109 of the Indian Penal Code and offences under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substance (NDPS) Act.

“We did not find drugs on his person, but in the [hotel] room where he was staying,” she said.

“We have arrested him because, prima facie, we found he was involved. His real role will be ascertained after we take him into custody,” R.D. Shinde, Superintendent of Police, Raigad, told The Hindu.

Besides Mr. Jadhav, the police have arrested the organisers of the rave, Snehajeet Sajalkar alias Bittu (32), Kushan Suhas Kumar (30), hotel manager Rahul Khanna (30) and Sunil Ghule (44). All the accused are Mumbai residents, except Mr. Ghule, who hails from Pune. All five were remanded to police custody till July 2. A sixth accused Vikas Shah is absconding.

The accused were booked under sections 20-B (contravention in relation to cannabis plant and cannabis for quantity lesser than commercial quantity), 22 (contravention in relation to psychotropic substances) and 25 (allowing premises for commission of offence); and IPC 109.

Of those detained, 231 were men and 59, women. “Their blood and urine samples have been taken and sent for testing. After which they were released,” Mr. Shinde said. Among the detainees, though unconfirmed, was Sakshi Khanna, the son of Bollywood actor Vinod Khanna. “Everyone is saying he is Vinod Khanna's son. I don't know. I just have his name in the medical list,” Ms. Patil said.

Track records sought

Mr. Patil said the hotel site where the rave party was busted was centrally located between Mumbai and Pune, facilitating the traffic of people from both cities.

“The government has given directions for stringent inspections in that area. We will probe if raves are being organised with the help of the police and take action against officers involved,” he said.

With Mr. Jadhav's arrest, Mr. Patil called for a record of all the officers working in the ANC. He said this was a second instance of an officer of the force being found to be involved in a drug-related offence.

“Some months ago, an inspector was caught with contraband during a police raid. The government has taken a serious view of this issue. Today [Monday], I had a meeting with senior ANC officers. I have directed the Director-General of Police to appoint officers with good track records to the ANC, after being screened by the Special Investigation Team and the Criminal Investigation Department,” Mr. Patil said.

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