Sunday, July 22, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Liquor from MP finds way into Bathinda
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 21
After Haryana and Rajasthan, liquor has started seeping into this southern district of Punjab from Madhya Pradesh. The trend, which has been gaining ground, has been forcing the police and excise authorities to adopt new strategies to check the menace to prevent loss to the state exchequer.

In the past five days, the district excise and police authorities have made two major seizures of liquor smuggled from Madhya Pradesh in this district. On July 16 in Chauke village 346 crates of liquor were seized from a closed mill. Last evening, 682 bottles were seized from two different places.

To evade detection the smugglers have reportedly made special bunkers in their dwellings to store the smuggled liquor.

The smugglers would smuggle liquor at cheap rates from Madhya Pradesh and then store the same at places of convenience and then sell the same in the market at very high rates.

Dr Jatinder Kumar Jain, SSP, said in one case, the accused Balwant Singh, who had been arrested with 610 bottles in his possession had stored the same in two bunkers in his house. The smuggled, liquor was being supplied to him by a liquor contractor, Vijay Kumar.

He said the accused had served in the Army. After retirement, he had worked in a liquor vend. At present he was serving as laboratory assistant in Kendriya Vidayala and living in Dhobiana Basti of the city. The accused used to get one bottle at the rate of Rs 18 and would sell the same at Rs 100.

Those who raided the premises of the accused included Mr Prem Kumar Garg, Excise and Taxation Officer, (ETO), Mr Ravinder Singh Romana, Mr Surjeet Singh Bhaia, Mr Roop Chand Bansal (All inspectors), Mr Jaspal Singh, DSP, and Mr Rajbir Singh, ASI.

The same team also recovered 72 bottles of whiskey smuggled from Madhya Pradesh of the same brand from Amar Singh, a resident of Sema Kalan village. Both Balwant Singh and Amar Singh, also a former serviceman, were known to each other.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that eversince the rates of Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) had been increased in Punjab, areas bordering Haryana and Rajasthan had been witnessing large-scale smuggling of liquor by individuals and organised gangs.

Earlier, the smuggling of liquor to these areas was confined to Haryana and Rajasthan. However, in the recent past, the smuggling of liquor from Madhya Pradesh to Punjab has risen. Last year, the district police and excise authorities seized liquor in a large quantity which was being smuggled from Delhi.

What is worrying the excise authorities even more is the emergence of organised smuggling of liquor which had started eating up into the revenue of the state due to the drastic fall in the sale of officially auctioned liquor vends.

Dr Jain said two separate cases had been registered against Balwant Singh and Amar Singh at the Bathinda and Nathana police stations. Two more persons had been arrested in connections with the possession of countrymade liquor and illicit distilled liquor.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
121 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |