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Krishna police seize liquor meant for `distribution'

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DAY OF RECKONING: Government employees drafted for election duty headed for polling stations in Vijayawada on Tuesday. Photo: Raju V.
DAY OF RECKONING: Government employees drafted for election duty headed for polling stations in Vijayawada on Tuesday. Photo: Raju V.

Staff Reporter

Hanuman Junction police had major catch valued at Rs.1.5 lakhs

Those arrested admit that the liquor is being taken for distribution Police have been on their toes amid reports leaders are resorting to luring voters with liquorDry day to be enforced within a radius of 5 km of polling stations

VIJAYAWADA: On the eve of elections to ZPTCs and MPTCs in the district on Wednesday, the district police conducted raids at several places and seized large quantities of Indian Made Liquor and illicitly-distilled (ID) liquor that was being ferried reportedly for distribution among voters.

The Hanuman Junction police had the major catch when they seized IML worth Rs.1.5 lakhs in three separate instances of raid since Monday night. At least one of these three seizures happened at Ammanaveedu in Pedapadu mandal of West Godavari district.

The stocks were being transported in lorries, and those who were arrested admitted that they were taking them for distribution among voters, the police said.

In the evening, the Kaikaluru police seized an autorickshaw carrying 3,100 IML bottles of 180 ml each, all of which was worth Rs. 80,000.

The seizure was made at Vadlakutitippa village in Penchikalamarru panchayat. The autorickshaw driver escaped from the place and investigation was on to find out who placed the order for the stock.

There was another instance of seizure of some ID liquor at Avanigadda, but its value could not be very high, the police said.

Police and excise officials in the district were on their toes since the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday amidst reports that political parties and contesting candidates were resorting to the good-old practice of luring voters with alcohol.

Excise officials said they had a major problem on hand because elections were not scheduled on Wednesday in three out of the four districts that surround Krishna district.

The `dry day' would be in force during 48 hours prior to the closing hour of polling in all areas where election was taking place. West Godavari, Guntur and Khammam would go to polls in second phase on July 2, while only Nalgonda, with which Krishna district has a shorter border, would go to polls on Wednesday.

In these three districts, dry day came into force only in the border villages, as the State Election Commission stipulated that within the 5-km radius of all polling stations, dry day would have to be enforced.

Demand from retailers

A senior excise official based at Machilipatnam conceded that the demand from retail dealers was very high on Monday itself, but the department had made sure that only the usual quantity of supply was made.

The additional sale would have been of the order of nearly Rs.2 crores on Monday if the department had allowed, he pointed out.

But not catering to the increased demand for licensed IMFL would lead to sale and consumption of more illicit liquor, he feared.

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