The East Singhbhum district excise department office in Sakchi on Friday. Picture by Animesh Sengupta
State excise officials arrested 15 people and recovered huge quantity of spurious liquor during raids across the city in the past 24 hours.
The swoop on the hooch dens was carried out in the wake of the upcoming festive season.
Acting on the directive of East Singhbhum assistant excise commissioner Rakesh Kumar, a team of officials raided five shops at Bagbera, Jugsalai, Burmamines, Sakchi and Bhuiyandih late on Thursday.
Besides rounding up 15 people, the team, headed by inspector Sanjay Srivastava, also seized five litres of foreign booze and 20 litres of countrymade liquor.
However, a crackdown on a liquor manufacturing unit at Hurlung near Birsanagar on Friday proved to be the real breakthrough. Excise officials recovered 10,000 litres of countrymade liquor, 20kg of nitric acid, 50 empty drums and other liquor manufacturing equipment. No arrest was made.
Assistant commissioner Kumar said the confiscated liquor and other materials had been destroyed in an open place.
“As it was not possible to carry the seized containers to excise police station on Dhalbhhum Road in Sakchi, the team decided to destroy them elsewhere. The members, however, have collected samples of the confiscated countrymade liquor, which will be send for tests,” he added.
According to Kumar, the liquor manufactured at Hurlung used to be sent to a number of unauthorised shops across the steel city.
The assistant commissioner further said the department had also identified many other manufacturing units on the foothills of Dalma and at places like Sopodera in adjoining Seraikela-Kharsawan district.
“The raids are being carried out in view of Durga Puja, as the sale of illicit liquor usually goes up during the festive season, leading to crimes like molestation and rape,” he pointed out, adding that their main objective was to check sale of liquor through unauthorised shops.
The crackdown will continue till Puja gets over.