Assam Polls: Excise keeps vigil in eight districts for high liquor sale
Excise officials are monitoring eight districts in poll-bound Assam, which have shown an increased sale of liquor since the Election Commission of India (ECI) announced the Assembly elections in the state on February 26.
“Eight districts, namely Bokajan, Charaideo, Dhemaji, Jorhat, Morigaon, Sivasagar, Sonitpur and West Karbi Anglong, have shown a trend of liquor sale over 30 per cent. Eighteen retail shops across these districts account for the 30 per cent increase in sale. Excise officials are monitoring these shops daily, and we have issued show causes,” the chief electoral officer of Assam said on Friday.
“Since the declaration of the election on February 26 till March 18, the total quantity of retail sale of liquor amounts to over 77 lakh litres,” he said.
The state has 2,512 Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) shops and 713 country liquor shops.
Recently, two IMFL shops at Gossaigaon were sealed due to excise-related violations.
We have arrested over 224 persons for violating excise rules and seized 16 vehicles, he said.
Strategic and random raids are being carried out by the enforcement and regulatory agencies at the 41 potentially illegal storage identified areas in 29 election districts.
“To monitor and track illegal consignments of liquors, and other such goods, 15 check-gates have been put along the inter-district borders manned by excise officials,” the CEO said.
Meanwhile, enforcement and regulatory authorities have made cumulative seizures of cash, liquor, narcotics and jewellery worth Rs 75 crore between February 26 and March 18, 2021.
“Cash amounting Rs 16.14 crore was seized while liquor worth Rs 19.21 crore was confiscated. Gold and silver ornaments valued at Rs 2.82 crore have also been seized, drugs worth Rs 30.30 crore, and freebies (cigarettes, black pepper, etc.) amounting to Rs 6.63 crore has been seized,” the CEO said.
(Edited by Ladiangti Rani)