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UP roadside eateries, dhabas on radar in drive against illicit liquor

An excise department official said that besides checking suspicious dhabas along the highways, the stock available at excise shops will be verified in the drive against illicit liquor trade.
By HT Correspondent | Edited by Abhinav Sahay, Lucknow
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 10:50 AM IST
Crackdown on Illicit liquor trade ahead of the festive season and polls in UP. Representative use(Sanjeev Kumar/HT Photo)

Dhabas or roadside eateries along the state and national highways in Uttar Pradesh (UP) are on the radar of the excise department during the special enforcement drive launched ahead of the upcoming festive season as well as panchayat polls, officials said.

The roadside eateries are under scrutiny as the intelligence wing of the excise department wants to keep a vigil on some “suspicious” eateries to check the sale and consumption of illicit liquor, said officials. They added that the first phase of the drive will end on March 8 and continue in a phased manner thereafter. The excise department has decided to rope in village chowkidars (watchmen) to get alerted about the activities of the liquor mafia.

“To check the manufacturing, smuggling and sale of illicit liquor, joint teams of excise, police and administration will be constituted by the district magistrate and superintendent of police in each district,” said additional chief secretary, excise, Sanjay R Bhoosreddy.

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“Besides checking suspicious dhabas along the highways, the stock available at excise shops will be verified,” he said. “We will also keep an eye on the movement of vehicles through a checking drive. Any vehicle suspected to be carrying illicit or smuggled liquor will be checked. Instructions have been issued to register FIRs for illicit liquor trade under the relevant sections of the excise act as well as under the various sections of the IPC,” he said.

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