Excise officials and policemen with the confiscated items in Sakchi on Friday. (Bhola Prasad)
The crackdown on illegal liquor dens in East Singhbhum has reached a new high.
The district’s excise department has joined hands with quick response teams of respective police stations to carry out raids at shops and units selling and manufacturing illegal liquor with the drive proving to be a huge success within a few hours of its launch on Thursday.
The team raided illegal dens at Sitaramdera, Bhuiyandih, Bhalubasa, Tube Gate, Tuiladungri and Burmamines around 9.30pm on Thursday and seized 40 litres of beer, 10 litres of Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) and 300 litres of countrymade liquor during the two-hour-long operation.
But the biggest success was the arrest of hooch lord Manishanker Sahu who has been carrying out the trade in Oraon slum area of Sitaramdera for the past decade.
Manishanker is the younger brother of Gaurishanker Sahu, who is serving jail sentence for the hooch tragedy at Oraon around 15 years ago in which 36 people died after consuming countrymade liquor.
Two other arrests were made during Thursday’s raids. While Inderjit Rajak was rounded up from Bhalubasa, Puran Lohar was nabbed from Bhuiyandih area. They were sent to jail on Friday.
According to the new strategy adopted by the excise officials, the surprise raids will be carried out at liquor joints in the evening, while production units will face the music in the morning.
In keeping with this system, the officials, aided by a quick response team from MGM police station, raided illegal distilleries near Subernarekha river in Turiabera and Demkadih villages.
Around seven distilleries were destroyed and over 10,000kg of mahua seeds, which are fermented for manufacturing countrymade liquor, confiscated. The seeds were stored in as many as 50 drums.
This apart, 600 litres of countrymade liquor and equipment used for producing it were seized.
“These dens are located in dense forests near the river banks. The owners were alerted by our presence by the noise of our vehicles and escaped on boats to the other side of the river. We have filed cases against seven unidentified operators at MGM police station,” said excise inspector Lalit Minz.
Speaking about the new strategy, assistant commissioner, excise department, Jamshedpur, Rakesh Kumar said it was drawn in the month of August depending on the rush hours at liquor selling and production points.