Illicit liquor flows freely in Patiala dist despite 1,823 FIRs in 2 years
Patiala also has links with the state’s Majha hooch tragedy in Ghanour and Rajpura areas as at least four persons have been arrestedUpdated: Aug 02, 2020 23:03 IST
Patiala With the Majha region battling the hooch tragedy, authorities are eager to crackdown against the trade. In an instance of this, the Patiala Police recovered 7,420 litre of lahan (raw material used to distil illicit liquor) and registered 31 cases on Sunday. To put this in perspective, over the past two years, the police had just recovered around 19,000 litre or an average of just 27 litre a day.
In these two years, the police have confiscated around 2 lakh liquor being smuggled from neighbouring states, around 10,000 litre of illicit liquor distilled illegally in ‘desi distilleries’, 19,000 litre of lahan, 14,600 litre of spirit and 4,800 litre of spurious liquor from the district. There have been around 1,700 arrests for illegal manufacturing and smuggling of liquor.
Despite the registration of 1,823 FIRs (First information reports) under the Excise Act in the past two years, the business of illegal distilling of liquor and smuggling of liquor from neighbouring Haryana and state capital Chandigarh continues unabated.
Patiala also has links with the state’s Majha hooch tragedy in Ghanour and Rajpura areas as at least four persons have been arrested. Shambu, Samana, Patran and Ghanour, which share border with Haryana, and the villages situated on the banks of Ghaggar river, have turned havens for brewing and smuggling of illegal liquor.
“Over 60% of the FIRs are registered in police stations related to these particular areas,” said a senior police official.
Last year, in a major haul, district police conducted raids by the Ghaggar river and recovered 5,000 litre lahan and arrested 18 persons from Patiala district’s Marouri village, which is notorious for bootleggers.
Sarpanch Gurmeet Singh said over 70% of the population belong to minority communities and most male members of the village are daily-wagers. “These people have not been getting any lucrative employement offers. They are taking up illicit liquor trade to make both ends meet,” he said. Former MP Dr Dharamvira Gandhi had adopted the village under the central government’s Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana, but the fortunes of the village did not change.