Illicit trade ‘flourishing’ in Bathinda villages

Illicit trade ‘flourishing’ in Bathinda villages

Representational image

Sukhmeet Bhasin

Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 3

Illicit liquor trade has been flourishing in the rural areas of the district right under the nose of the police and excise officials. The Bir Talab Basti area in the district has earned the notoriety for being the hub of illicit liquor trade.

Many people are involved in this trade. The area has become a hub in the region where country made liquor is prepared and sold illegally. The liquor is supplied in plastic packets.

The price of this liquor is Rs 100 per bottle and it comes in a pack of two bottles, whereas the price of genuine country made liquor is around Rs 250 per bottle.

A youth at Bir Talab village said many people from the city and nearby villages come daily to purchase illicit liquor. He said there was a demand, so people prepare and sell it.

It seems that despite more than 100 persons were killed after consuming spurious liquor, no major action has been initiated against this illegal trade in the district.

Jaskaran Singh, IGP, Bathinda Range, said, “This issue is in my notice and there is zero tolerance towards illicit liquor. We have identified pockets, which include the Bir Talab area, where this practice is going on and the police are regularly keeping tabs and conducting raids.”

On Saturday, the Bathinda police arrested accused Manpreet Singh and Jagsir Singh of Bir Talab Basti in two separate incidents and seized 400 litre and 200 litre ‘lahan’ from their house.

Villagers alleged that despite lodging complaints against this illicit trade, no major action had been taken.

Prof Dr Vitull K Gupta, a health activist, said all kinds of alcohol carried health risk, but country made liquor could be much more hazardous because it might involve multiple distillation process, often poorly regulated, improper equipment leading to production of different concentration of alcohol (ethanol), harmful impurities such as fusel alcohols, lead from plumbing solder and methanol.

He said spurious liquor was made by adulteration of country made liquor with methyl alcohol or methanol or ammonium nitrate to sweeten it, decrease cost and increase its intoxicating potency. The intake of ammonium nitrate might cause headache, dizziness, abdominal pain, vomiting, heart problems, convulsions, collapse and even death.


High demand in rural areas

  • The Bir Talab Basti area has become a hub in the region where country made liquor is prepared and sold illegally. The liquor is supplied in plastic packets
  • The price of this liquor is Rs100 per bottle and it comes in a pack of two bottles, whereas the price of genuine country made liquor is around Rs250 per bottle
  • A youth at Bir Talab village says many people from the city and nearby villages come daily to purchase illicit liquor. He says there is a demand, so people prepare and sell it

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