The Amritsar rural police raided Ranike, the native village of animal husbandry minister Gulzar Singh Ranike, and seized more than 6,000 litres of illicit liquor and another 3,000 litres under preparation.
The police, who have been so far concentrating on anti-drug campaigns, nabbing drug peddlers and consumers, have now shifted their attention to illicit distillation of liquor and its sale, particularly in villages along the border with Pakistan.
Nearly 50-odd police men led by Attari deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Baljit Singh Dhillon descended upon the village at around 5am on Sunday.
The residents of Ranike, most of them were still asleep, were taken by surprise, as such raids had never taken place in the village of ‘mantri ji’.
Liquor was brewing in large vessels in the houses that the cops entered and the entire racket seemed to be well organised, though the cops denied this and attributed it to be limited to only some families.
Claiming that the operation was a success, Dhillon said they destroyed 10 ‘bhattis’ (distilleries) located inside homes. Besides the vessels used for the distillation were also seized.
“A total of 6,000 litres of illicit liquor and another 3,000 litres under preparation were seized during the raid. We have dismantled the entire infrastructure built by the accused in their houses for liquor distillation,” the DSP added.
She pointed out that pointing out that he had visited the village during the Lok Sabha elections.
He said nine persons of had been taken into custody and later were booked under various sections of the Excise Act.