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28 held for tapping toddy

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VOICING A DEMAND: Representatives of various farmers’ associations and political parties at the Coimbatore Corporation on Friday to present a petition seeking withdrawal of cases against farmers for toddy tapping.
VOICING A DEMAND: Representatives of various farmers’ associations and political parties at the Coimbatore Corporation on Friday to present a petition seeking withdrawal of cases against farmers for toddy tapping.

Staff Reporter

Special teams seize 2,635 litres of toddy

Coimbatore: In a drive against toddy tapping across the district on Friday, the Coimbatore Rural Police arrested 28 persons and seized 2,635 litres of toddy. The police subsequently destroyed the toddy.

Following the Government’s decision to appoint a commission to look into the demand to withdraw the ban on toddy tapping, the Inspector-General of Police, West Zone, Pramod Kumar, and DIG of Police, Coimbatore Range, P. Sivanandi, constituted special teams.

The teams conducted the raids under the supervision of Superintendent of Police, Coimbatore, N. Kannan. They arrested nine persons in Sulur, ten persons in Thudialur, five in Negamam, three in Anaimalai and one in Alandurai and seized 2,635 litres of toddy.

Cases have been registered against the accused under the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Prohibition Act of 1937. The police also held 185 persons who had assembled near the Sulur Police Station on Friday under section 151 of the Criminal Procedure Code. They were later released.

Meanwhile, a delegation of farmers’ association representatives and leaders of political parties thronged the Collectorate with a petition seeking permission to tap toddy and withdrawal of cases against farmers and farm workers for toddy tapping. Later, Tamil Nadu Nadar Peravai which met under the chairmanship of its State President and Tree Climbers Welfare Association President V.T. Dharmarajan announced its decision to temporarily suspend toddy tapping till the recommendations of the commission appointed by the Government came.

Mr. Sivanandi said that in Coimbatore Range comprising the Nilgiris, Coimbatore Rural, Tirupur and Erode districts 97 persons were arrested and nearly 1,000 persons were take into preventive custody for resisting police action to enforce the rule of law. They were later released.

More than 2,000 personnel were used for conducting the drive which would continue until toddy tapping was completely stopped.

Inspector-General of Police, West Zone, Pramod Kumar in a statement warned that farmers and farm workers indulging in toddy tapping would be dealt with severely.

Staff Reporter from Tirupur adds: Forty-one persons were arrested on the charge of tapping toddy in raids at different parts of the district on Friday. Police also seized 1,200 litres of toddy.

Police sources said eleven persons were arrested from Palladam sub-division, nine from Kangayam, four each from Avinashi and Dharapuram sub-divisions, six from Udumalpet sub-division and seven from Tirupur sub-division limits.

All were remanded under various sections of Tamil Nadu Prohibition Act, 1937.

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