VIJAYAWADA: Krishna district superintendent of police (SP) Siddharth Kaushal launched ‘Special Action Plan’ under the anti-smuggling drive to curb the menace of smuggling in the district here at Basava Punnaiah Stadium in Vijayawada on Friday.
As many as 2,530 people accused, suspected and arrested in 2020 and 2021 for smuggling of non-duty paid liquor (NDPL) from Telangana, banned tobacco products such as gutka and brewing of illicit distilled liquor were present in the programme.
Addressing the gathering, SP Siddharth Kaushal explained that the police department is going to conduct intensified enforcement drives to curb the menace in the district. He informed that those caught in the illegal activity will be dealt with severely.
The SP said more than 70 per cent of the people arrested for indulging in smuggling activities were less than 30 years of age. He further warned repeat offenders of invoking the Preventive Detention Act, if they were found committing such crimes henceforth.
“We are following zero tolerance towards smuggling of NDPL, ID liquor and gutka in the district. Today, we are going to open suspect sheets against those who have more than two cases registered against them,” Siddharth Kaushal said.
Explaining about the ‘Special Action Plan’, the SP said cases will be booked actively under appropriate sections of law to create deterrence among the public and enhance surveillance on repeated offenders. Using data analytics, police will open history sheets on repeat offenders and strong check posts will be arranged to put an end to the smuggling activities.
Besides, special operations will be conducted in crime-prone villages and crime hotspots will be geotagged. Along with that, police will keep a watch on illegal transportation and storage of black jaggery and other materials used for brewing illicit liquor.
“We will conduct awareness drives in villages and try to stop providing government schemes if those involved in anti-social activities do not mend their ways. We also provide livelihood by organising skill development courses and job fairs for the reformed and unemployed youth,” the SP noted. He told the people present that their families also have to bear the brunt of the crimes they commit.
Banawathu Baddu of Nandigama, who was arrested for brewing ID liquor, expressed his regrets and said that most of the people arrested in their village were farmers or farm labourers by profession.
“We did not have any work during the lockdown and hence we resorted to brewing illicit liquor to make ends meet. After the SP assured us of necessary support from the department, we have promised him that we will not commit such crimes again,” Banawathu Baddu said in his speech.