Jamshedpur: In view of the Lok Sabha elections, the district excise department has launched an intensive campaign against owners of unauthorized distilleries and bootleggers across East Singhbhum.
Contacted, the assistant excise commissioner of East Singhbhum Rakesh Kumar said the department had set up several teams to crack down upon the dens of liquor mafia members ahead of the Parliamentary elections in Jamshedpur constituency.
“We are conducting regular raids at distilleries that are being run in an unauthorized manner at several places in and around Jamshedpur under our jurisdiction. We are focusing in such areas so that the illicit liquor is neither distilled nor sold in any manner. This drive is aimed at preventing sale of illicit liquor at all places since it is an offence punishable under the law,” said the excise commissioner.
A team of excise department seized 500 litre country-made liquor along with a box containing foreign liquor, 50 litres of beer and other equipments used in distilling illicit liquor. As many as 19 persons were arrested during the raids from different parts of the district.
Raids were also conducted at the offices of Gauri Shankar Sahu, accused of dealing in illicit liquor. Sahu however managed to evade arrest by fleeing the venue of raid. The excise teams also raided liquor dens in Oraon Busti, Jemco, Manifit Harijan Busti, Tube Gate Harijan Busti, Chhayanagar, Chandinagar and Burmamines.
The additional excise commissioner said the raids will continue with intensity throughout the pre-poll period. Even during elections, the excise teams will keep an eye at liquor shops and all over the city to ensure that the orders for dry-day issued by the district administration are carried out strictly without fail.
Kumar said the teams had been directed to keep an eye on the activities of liquor mafia members near riverbank areas where illicit distilleries are often found to be running without the permission of the excise department.
Most of the distilleries are found here because it is easier for the culprits to cross the boundaries of the district by crossing the river while trying to escape or evade arrest. Being fringe areas also makes such places the choicest for the liquor distillers.
The excise department has been running anti-hooch campaign in many parts of the district including Bagbera, Potka, Sonari, Kadma, Laxminagar, Parsudih, Burmamines, Telco, Govindpur, Patamada, Ghatsila, Mosabani and other areas in the district under the leadership of Rakesh Kumar. Kumar has successfully led the teams to put an end to illicit liquor trade in many areas of East Singhbhum during his tenure so far.
Department sources said the deputy commissioner of East Singhbhum Dr Amitabh Kaushal has issued instructions to the excise department to check sale of illicit liquor in the district to ensure free and fair elections as per guidelines of the Election Commission. On the day of election, liquor shops will remain closed and sale of liquor will be strictly prohibited all over the district.
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