ID liquor syndicates hiring old women, physically challenged persons and children to sell the contraband
Illicitly Distilled (ID) liquor syndicates operating in the city are now hiring old women, physically challenged persons and minors to sell the contraband at various sale points in the city. They are paid anywhere between Rs. 200 to Rs. 300 per day.
Though the officials pass it off as a routine practice, sources reveal it is just another ploy to hoodwink the authorities or prevent them from taking stringent action against the sellers if caught during a raid.
“The authorities take a lenient view of women, physically challenged and children. Hence, they are preferred over others and are often let off with a warning unless they are habitual offenders,” an official, wishing not to be quoted, points out.
Efforts of the Prohibition and Excise (P&E) Department to curb the sale of ID liquor, popularly known as ‘Gudumba’ in the city are fraught with resistance from the bootleggers. There are about 40 sale points in the city though unofficial figures peg their number at around 100.
ID liquor sold in the city is mostly supplied from Dhoolpet area where still a few hundred families are allegedly making ‘Gudumba’, say officials. The P&E Department set up a separate station in the area, with the Station House Officer of the rank of Deputy Superintendent and three inspectors, maintaining a round-the-clock vigil in the area.
“Our teams are always on the move in Dhoolpet. We have been successfully curbing the transportation and distillation of liquor to certain extent,” claims Deputy Commissioner of P&E Hyderabad, M.M.A. Farooqui. Of late, sellers at the local level are also sourcing it from villages in adjoining Ranga Reddy, Mahabubnagar and Nalgonda districts.
The P&E registered around 3,000 cases and arrested about 2,200 persons in various offences related to the sale and transport of toddy and ID liquor across Hyderabad. At times, they are facing physical attacks too from the bootleggers compelling the higher-ups to increase the strength of the teams going for raids.