Crackdown on illicit liquor dens in TN's Kalyavaran hills, govt to rehabilitate bootleggers

National |  IANS  | Published :

Chennai, Oct 5 (IANS) The Kallakurichi police have commenced crackdown on illicit liquor dens and are planning to rehabilitate bootleggers who are into the business of brewing illicit liquor.

The Kalyavaran hills in Kallakurichi district are a beautiful tourist spot, but have been the major illicit liquor brewing den for years and there even exists an illegal system where the local village chieftains give the brewing rights through tender.

Local people on the mainland recollect instances of some village elders and chieftains colluding together and tendering illicit liquor brewing rights under the nose of the police. The illegal tenders or rather the exclusive rights to brew illicit liquor were given to the highest bidder and rates for a year touched as high as Rs 35 to 40 lakh per year.

The new district Superintendent of Police P. Pakalavan, who assumed office after the Kallakurichi school riots on July 17, commenced the crackdown on bootleggers and arrested as many as 282 people, including 42 women and six were booked under the Goonda Act.

Pakalvan, while speaking to IANS, said, "Police have arrested 282 people, including 42 women and have destroyed 1.39 lakh litres of fermented wash and 7,064 litres of arrack during the raids conducted in the area. We will not compromise on illicit liquor brewing dens. Police will be strict against such menace."

The successive district superintendents of police have been trying to put an end to this issue but due to the middlemen, who buy liquor from uphills and sell it in the valley, the eradication of illicit liquor was not completed.

Most of the villages in Kalyavaran hills can be reached on foot and the bootleggers can watch the police from uphills and can escape as most of the illicit liquor dens are at the top of the picturesque hills which are endorsed with natural beauty.

Police are now planning to rehabilitate the bootleggers and have organised subsidised loans for them to start legal businesses with the support of government agencies and NGOs. The district superintendent of police said that the department was preparing a list of bootleggers who could start their own self-employment ventures.

The district police are also planning to help bootleggers prepare for competitive examinations and is in discussion with some NGOs and with institutions that conduct competitive examinations.

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