Seven people have died this year upon consuming spurious liquor, Minister for Excise M.P. Renukacharya said here on Tuesday.

Mr. Renukacharya told presspersons that the number reflected the deaths that had occurred in the State after he took charge as Excise Minister.

He was here to review the work of his department in the Mangalore division which comprises Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Uttara Kannada, Shimoga and Kodagu districts.

The Minister said his department was trying its best to end the manufacture and sale of spurious liquor. Of the 460 spurious liquor manufacturing units identified in the division, 277 have been permanently closed while there were reports that 105 small, 64 medium and 14 large establishments still operated.

He said the department had been conducting relentless raids on these establishments to get them closed permanently. He said the gram panchayats had been asked to spread awareness among the people about the hazards of consuming spurious liquor.

During April-September, the department had conducted 5,787 raids on liquor shops across the State and registered 588 cases, and 175 arrests had been made.

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