Home Minister P. Sabitha Indra Reddy said in the Legislative Council on Wednesday that special police squads will conduct raids to curb the growing number of illegal bars and pubs in several areas in the State.

She was responding to a question by M. S. Prabhakara Rao (Congress) about the mushrooming bars and pubs in Cyberabad limits in violation of rules due to alleged collusion of excise and police officials.

Mr. Rao expressed concern that several illegal bars were operating in the Twin Cities and becoming dens of anti-social activities, luring young girls and boys of impressionable age go astray. Leader of Opposition Dadi Veerabhadra Rao (TDP) said such a trend was taking strong roots even in Visakhapatnam and several illegal ‘hookah' and ‘massage' centres were mushrooming. He blamed the local police for turning a blind eye to such places.

Ms. Sabitha assured the members that special squads would be deputed as local policemen were not being effective in controlling the menace. So far, 50 illegal bars were closed down in the city and action was pending against 82 others.

Chairman A.Chakrapani also expressed concern and emphasised the need to take stern action against illegal joints as they were harmful to the society. Parents and civil society too should play an active role in arresting the trend, he said.