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Uttar Pradesh: Spurious liquor turning Bahmalpur into a ‘village of widows’

Located on the banks of the river Ganga, the village has earned the painful sobriquet after death of several young men due to consumption of hooch.

lucknow Updated: Dec 07, 2017 12:51 IST
Farhan Ahmed Siddiqui
Farhan Ahmed Siddiqui
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Spurious liquor,Bahmalpur,Village of widows
Cops in action against an illegal liquor kiln in trans-Ganga area of Allahabad.(HT File Photo)

Wecome to Bahmalpur, a ‘village of widows’. Located on the banks of the river Ganga, the village has earned the painful sobriquet after death of several young men due to consumption of hooch .

The village, with a population of around 1,200, has around 100 widows, out of which 70% are between the age of 40 and 50 years, says a villager.The village is situated near Padila Mahadev Temple in Trans-Ganga area and is 25km from here.

Sources in the excise department say Bahmalpur tops the list of 52 villages identified for bootlegging in the district and is among the top 10 on the list of 2,000 villages identified across the state for hooch trade.

Children as young as 10-year-old enter the illegal hooch trade here and even start consuming it at this age. Most of the deaths occur between the age of 40 and 50, leaving widows and orphans to fend for themselves.

Despite the deaths, women in Bahmalpur are forced to become a part of this illegal business for lack of other sources of income. Their children also assist them in the supply of illegal liquor. The children, too, become addicted to liquor once they join this business.

Most of the villagers are suffering from serious diseases caused by continuous consumption of illegal liquor. Kidney and liver failure are common among inhabitants, claimed some of the villagers.

At least 25 villagers are also suffering from tuberculosis and other lung-related problems due to unsanitary conditions and the foul odour of hooch. Except liquor buyers, cops and excise department officials, there are very few visitors in this villagers.

Thousands of litres of illegal liquor is manufactured and sold in the village everyday under the nose of the police and excise department, alleged villagers.

Read: In Kerala, minimum drinking age to go up from 21 to 23

District excise officer SB Modwell admitted that Bahmalpur village is infamous for illegal manufacturing of hooch . However, he clarified that all villagers are not engaged in the illegal trade.

At least 10-20% of the villagers are involved in illegal liquor trade and addicted to it its consumption. Excise department officials conduct regular raids in Bahmalpur to stop the illegal business. A rehabilitation programme should be carried out to end the business. The excise department will soon co-ordinate with the social welfare department for the initiative, added Modwell .

First Published: Dec 07, 2017 12:51 IST