MUMBAI, India — Four men currently face criminal charges for their alleged involvement in the operation of an illegal Matka and gambling den, Mumbai Police announced.
Matka is an illegal form of betting and lottery which involves correctly guessing two numbers between 1 and 9. The practice originally involved betting on the opening and closing rates of cotton at the NYSE and has been the focus of a large-scale crackdown from Mumbai Police since the practice’s peak in the 1990s.
Police said Salim Ahmed Khan Deshmukh, the gang’s leader, ran the operation with three underlings in the Cheeta Camp suburb of Trombay, Mumbai in Zone VI. The men were taken into custody at the Trombay Police Station and were charged with 21 criminal counts, a police statement read.
The station’s Senior Police Inspector, Siddeshwar Gove, proposed that the department take “special action” against the men – whom the department characterizes as a gang – under section 55 of the Maharashtra Police Act. The group was deported from Mumbai’s suburban district for half a year under the authority of Zone VI’s Deputy Police Commissioner Shashi Kumar Meena.Shashi Kumar Meena (Courtesy of Mumbai Police)
“As per section 55 of Bombay Police Act, 1951, if the movement or encampment of any gang or body of persons is causing or is calculated to cause danger or alarm or reasonable suspicion that unlawful designs are entertained by such gang, or by members thereof, then such gangs/ bodies of persons can be dispersed and ordered that they remove themselves outside the area,” the statute reads.
Authorities warned that if the men are found to have come back to Mumbai before the six-month period is up further legal action would be taken. Mumbai Police have asked the public to report any members of the group returning to Mumbai or any similar gambling houses in the area.
A total of 18 citizens have been deported from Mumbai’s zone VI in 2021.
Kaushik Lele from Pune, India contributed to this report.