Home minister Bhupendra Singh made a candid admission on Tuesday that the sale of illicit liquor in Madhya Pradesh has led to a law and order problem in the state. However, the minister said that the police were taking tough action against these bootleggers and have booked many.
“Though it is excise department that looks into such matters, the police department launched a drive for 15 days to check the sale of illicit liquor. During the drive, two lakh litres of liquor was seized and FIRs were lodged against 15,774 persons,” Singh said, responding to a question from Hindustan Times.
The home minister said it was first time that action had been taken against liquor contractors, stating that FIRs had been lodged against 47 of them. He said the sale of illicit liquor is possible only when contractors provided liquor, hence they were guilty. He also said that if required, another such drive would be launched.
Earlier, Congress MLAs had raised the issue during question hour. BJP legislator Shailendra Jain took up the matter through his question, which highlighted a murder in Sagar’s Makronia.
Finance minister Jayant Malaiya, in his reply, talked of persistent action by his department in checking the sale of illicit liquor. He said 49,114 cases of sale of illicit liquor had been lodged in eight months last year, and the number of such cases registered during the corresponding period this year rose to 52,182. He also refused to acknowledge any deaths or cases of hooliganism due to sale of illicit liquor in the state.
Dissatisfied with the minister’s reply some of the Congress MLAs including Sunderlal Tiwari and Jeetu Patwari entered the well of the house and lodged their protest against the minister. Congress MLA Rawat asked the speaker Sitasharan Sharma to ask the government to take action against the liquor mafia.