Hundreds of former prohibition offenders who are part of a rehabilitation package have evinced keen interest in farming. Residing in locations spread across Tiruvannamalai district, they were once actively engaged in brewing or selling of illicit arrack. In a bid to reform and integrate them with society, the Prohibition Enforcement Wing is in the process of rehabilitation them.

While working with them, the enforcement wing came to know about their interest in group farming. Now, the wing has written to the government suggesting that societies be formed to enable these reformed offenders engage themselves in sustainable income-generating activities.

According to Additional Director-General of Police (Enforcement) C.K. Gandhirajan, about 200 people who were given Rs. 30,000 each for purchasing milch animals or setting up grocery shops as part of the rehabilitation package last year met him in Tiruvannamalai on Saturday. At least 650 persons, including many women, in the district were part of the package.

“They evinced interest in maize cultivation, mushroom nursery, honey collection etc. Such group activity can be promoted by way of forming societies. We have written to the government in this regard. The objective is to ensure that they make some decent money and contribute to the family,” he said.

Mr. Gandhirajan said that 42,684 cases of prohibition offences were registered across the State since January 2013 and 39,393 accused, including 3,763 women, were arrested.

“Due to the sustained efforts of the police and law-enforcement agencies, brewing of illicit arrack has been eradicated in the State. We are now focusing on the sale of liquor smuggled from other States. Police are also after those who are selling liquor purchased from TASMAC outlets at a higher price after closing hours,” he said.

The drive against illegal sales had enhanced revenue in State-owned liquor shops. Enforcement officials were intensifying the campaign to create awareness of the evils of liquor.

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