Gujarat: On Friday, a new positive case became a cause of concern for the third worst hit state, Gujarat as the man is suspected to have come in contact with many other people while smuggling liquor.

The Gujarat Police seized a container carrying liquor worth Rs 51 lakh in Palanpur of Banaskantha on Wednesday. The driver arrested from the spot has been tested positive for Covid-19 positive and now the authorities have started tracking the contacts he came in touch with.

According to the police officials, a container was intercepted at 4:30 am on Wednesday in Palanpur and Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) worth Rs 51 lakh was seized. The accused driver who belonged to Madhya Pradesh was found carrying 11,424 bottles of whiskey and 1,800 bottles of gin in the container from Rajasthan after crossing Amirgadh taluka border checkpoint.He also had a poster on the container vehicle quoting “Emergency Medical Services”.

Following the official procedure, the police officials sent the accused to Civil Hospital in Palanpur for Covid-19 test after arresting him on Wednesday morning. The results came out to be positive on Friday when reports came out. The accused has been booked under the Prohibition Act, and as of now he has been kept in the hospital for treatment.

The Police Inspector of Local Crime Branch Palanpur, Mr. Hardik Parmar said in his statement,

“The accused has tested Covid-19 positive and health officials have begun contact tracing. According to his own admission, he is a native of Madhya Pradesh and was smuggling IMFL from Haryana to Gujarat via Rajasthan border. Two or three personnel of my team were also involved in the operation and we are preparing a list. As of now, no one has been quarantined.” 

The case was registered at Palanpur West police station and as per R K Solanki, the In-charge Officer, his team was involved in the bust.

“The accused had not tried to run after his vehicle was intercepted. So our team ensured that we didn’t get in direct physical contact with him. Earlier, he was kept in a separate lockup of our police station before being taken for tests. However, we are probing whether there was any case of indirect touch,” said Solanki.