Flying Squad Hunts for liquor on Boats in Fishing Harbour
With the Parliamentary elections fast-approaching and the Election Commission (EC) of India leaving no stone unturned to enforce its model code of conduct in the run-up to the polls, the election flying squad conducted a surprise check at the Thengaithittu fishing harbour on Tuesday.
Acting on a tip-off, squad leader S Murali told Express that a consignment of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) was reportedly being smuggled out of Puducherry to the neighbouring districts of Tamil Nadu. The squad included Vimalan, Sivanjanam and inspectors C Maran and Viravallabane. It travelled more than 2 kms into the sea and searched the fishing boats.
Murali said though the surprise check was conducted on the basis of specific information received, it did not yield expected results. However, he said, the search would continue. He added that the region along the Uppalam coast was identified as ‘sensitive’ by the local Election Department.
The EC had identified Puducherry as one of the ‘expenditure-sensitive’ States in the country because of the use of money and liquor to bribe the voters. Meanwhile, Puducherry Trader’s Federation president M Sivasankaran has urged the Chief Electoral Officer and the Collector to raise the upper limit of cash permitted to be carried by a person without necessary documents from `50,000 to `3 lakh.
Claiming that business and sales declined drastically following the stringent restrictions imposed by the EC, he said, people from neighbouring Villupuram and Cuddalore were not coming to Puducherry for shopping. He said because of the restrictions, people were not coming to Puducherry for buying jewellery.
Sivasankaran said wholesalers too were affected due to the ceiling and even if someone carried the necessary documents, he or she was viewed with suspicion.