Ahead of the parliamentary elections, the officials of the district administration in association with the excise and taxation department, on Tuesday started raiding liquor vends to check the misuse of old stock.
On the directions of the deputy commissioner-cum-district electoral officer, Kamal Kishore Yadav, officials raided liquor vends and seized the stock manufactured before March 31, 2013.
Yadav said raids were being conducted to find out that whether the stock of old liquor has been shown in the records of the excise and taxation department or not. As per the norms, the vend owners should take permission from the excise and taxation department for carrying forward the old stock.
He said if liquor from the old stock is not in the records of the department, it could be misused during the polls by way of selling it at cheaper prices or in any other manner.
Sub-divisional magistrate-cum-assistant returning officer, Bathinda (urban) assembly constituency, Damanjeet Singh Mann who accompanied the checking teams said the raids would continue for the next two-three days till they check each and every liquor vend. “Though raids might alert liquor vend owners and they might try to shift the old stock, the administration will step up vehicle checking besides installing check posts,” he said. There are 48 liquor vends in Bathinda city.
Mann said the checking of entire stocks at liquor vends was a time-consuming exercise and as the excise and taxation department is short staffed, the process could be completed in two-three days. He expected that thousands of bottles of liquor would be recovered in the process.
Surprisingly, assistant excise and taxation commissioner GS Tiwana expressed ignorance about the reason behind the raids. He said the raids were being conducted on the directions of the district administration and he had deputed the staff for the purpose. “I can’t comment on the exact motive behind these raids,” he said.