State to curb flow of illicit liquor

Special Correspondent

40 police stations to be set up for the purpose

Sale of illicit liquor has increased since ban on arrack

Excise and police officials to conduct joint raids

BANGALORE: Forty new police stations will be established across the State to check the distillation and sale of illicit liquor.

Minister for Excise, BWSSB, Information Technology and Biotechnology Katta Subramanya Naidu told presspersons here on Thursday that each police station would have 62 personnel. While large districts such as Belgaum and Gulbarga would have two stations each, other districts would have at least one station primarily to curb the distillation and sale of illicit liquor, which has increased following the ban on arrack introduced over a year ago. The Excise Department and the police would jointly conduct raids and arrest those distilling and selling illicit liquor.

The Excise Department has submitted a proposal to set up the 40 police stations to the Home and Finance departments for clearance. The stations will begin functioning in about a month, the Minister said.

The Excise Department is all set to achieve its revenue target of Rs. 5,600 crore in the current fiscal year (July to June). During the past six months, it netted Rs. 2,700 crore in revenue. The Government has given permission to one of the country’s oldest sugar factories, Mysore Sugar Company Ltd. (Mysugar) in Mandya, to make cheaper brands of liquor.

Hooch case

Mr. Naidu said all the accused in the supply of illicit liquor that claimed 137 lives in the State in May 2007 had obtained bail, and courts were hearing cases in different districts. The tragedy, which occurred during President’s Rule, claimed the lives of 60 people in Bangalore East, 20 in Anekal, 28 in Kolar district, 20 in Hoskote in Bangalore Rural district and nine in Hassan district. The Government paid ex-gratia of Rs. 50,000 each to 117 families of the victims. The matter relating to providing compensation to another 20 families was under review.

Mr. Naidu said 11 officials, including a Deputy Commissioner of the Excise Department, had been suspended pending inquiry. Notices had been served on six officials. Twenty officials of the Police Department had been suspended, he said.

Commission report

The Executive Committee headed by the Governor (during President’s Rule) had accepted the report submitted by the A.J. Sadashiva Commission. After the formation of the Bharatiya Janata Party Government, a committee headed by the Chief Secretary had been constituted to implement the recommendations the commission. The committee’s report would be placed before the Cabinet for consideration, Mr. Naidu said.

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