Staff Reporter

KOCHI: With the campaign for the general elections warming up, the police and the department of excise have strengthened the drive against the transport of illicit and spurious liquor.

A major catch made in the Ernakulam rural on Tuesday is being highlighted as part of the special drive launched in this connection.

It was a combined work by the police in the city and the rural district.

Four-pronged strategy

“We are working on a four-pronged strategy ahead of the elections. This includes a drive against crime related to polls, arms and ammunition, abkari cases and execution of all non-bailable warrants issued so far,” said Manoj Abraham, City Police Commissioner.

Special teams have been formed to concentrate on specific tasks assigned. “The movement of illicit and spurious liquor is less in city limits. We are concentrating on movement along the highways connecting neighbouring districts and rural areas,” he said.

With the seizure of huge volumes of spirit, the police in the rural district have also started plugging the holes in the drive.

“This is an ongoing drive, we have only intensified it in the light of general elections and the festival season. Random samples from all the toddy shops in the rural district have been collected and this will be checked,” said P. Vijayan, Superintendent of Police, Ernakulam Rural.

On their part, the excise department has intensified vehicle checking. “The first phase of vehicle checking drive will start on Wednesday. We have formed teams under all seven circle inspectors to conduct round-the-clock checking throughout the district,” said Thomas K. Abraham, Excise Deputy Commissioner, Ernakulam Range.