Karnataka steps up vigil in villages along TN border

As many as 55 people have died so far in the hooch tragedy in the town of Kallakurichi in Tamil Nadu.
Excise and police personnel at a village on Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border.
Excise and police personnel at a village on Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border.(Photo | Express)

MYSURU: With the Kallakurichi hooch tragedy still fresh in the minds of people, the Karnataka Excise Department has swung into action, conducting surprise raids along the state’s border with Tamil Nadu.

As many as 55 people have died so far in the hooch tragedy in the town of Kallakurichi in Tamil Nadu.

The Karnataka Excise Department raided some houses in a few villages in the state along the Tamil Nadu border on suspicion that a few residents were manufacturing spurious liquor.

The excise team led by its DySP and police inspectors of Ramapura and Hannur conducted the raids in Pupsapura, Kote Pode, Thanda Medu Bidarahalli, and Maratahalli villages. The team, based on past information, raided the houses and warned the occupants against manufacturing illicit liquor. The team has also taken the local police, panchayat officials, and social workers into confidence to gather information on those involved in the manufacture and sale of illegal liquor. 

The manufacture and sale of spurious liquor thrived for decades in border villages in Nallore, Kadamabur, Dinnahalli, Jaggere, and Kote Lambani Thanda, with dozens of families involved in it. The liquor would be manufactured, filled in glass bottles, and sold to households.  

In the past, many in the excise and police departments feared abduction from the Veerapan gang and hence did not conduct any raids or prevent people from selling spurious liquor across the border.

Japamalai, a resident of Maratahalli village, said that many people preparing spurious liquor buried mud pots in mud for a week for the liquor to ferment. “Illegal liquor flowed more than water in a few villages. However, the manufacture and sale have stopped as youth and children in the families involved in the illegal activity got educated and opted for other professions in nearby towns in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka,” he added.

Mani of nearby Nallore village added that spurious liquor was manufactured on farms and hilly terrain to avoid trouble from the excise officials.  While a few others said that the illegal sale of liquor in many shops and houses in almost all the villages has put an end to spurious liquor. “Why will anyone take the risk of preparing spurious liquor when several brands are sold in petty shops or in houses in many villages,” asked a resident.

However, the officials concerned are in no mood to take any risk and have stepped up vigil along the border. They have started gathering information on the movements and earnings of a few people who were involved in preparing spurious liquor in the past.

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