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Excise tips on hooch

Calcutta police apparently prepared a hooch den list based on inputs provided by the excise department on Tuesday.

Senior excise officials and police officers met at Lalbazar in the afternoon and decided to conduct joint raids, especially to catch hooch carriers in certain pockets. “We gave inputs on the movement of spirit from distilleries outside Bengal to the Calcutta market,” said an excise official.

He said illicit liquor brewed in parts of South 24-Parganas was finding its way to the city. “The operators add colour to make the spirit look like beer,” an official said. “The colour could react with chemicals used in the fermentation process and kill people.”

He said sale of illicit liquor has not stopped. It had, however, dropped following crackdown before the general elections in different parts of the city, including Narkeldanga and Park Circus.

“It is difficult to detect and break the chain because sometimes women above 80 work as carriers,” a police officer said.