Andhra cops destroy 62.9K Lt jaggery wash in election crackdown

Aiming at cracking down on villages notorious for producing illegal liquor in the run up to the second phase of panchayat elections in Andhra Pradesh, the police in East Godavari have destroyed a huge cache of fermented jaggery measuring 62,950 litres used to make alcohol.

Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) in the Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB), Sumit Garud, said the police undertook a mega raid on Thursday in the villages and liquor distillation hideouts of Ramachandrapuram sub-division.

In one single day, Garud said the SEB booked 39 cases, arrested 11 persons, destroyed 62,950 litres of fermented jaggery wash, besides seizing an autorickshaw and a car each.

According to the Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, 200 litres of fermented jaggery wash can produce up to 50 litres of illicitly distilled (ID) liquor.

“The mega operation prevented potential generation of 16,000 litres of ID wash. The value of fermented jaggery wash destroyed in the operation comes roughly to around Rs 13 lakh,” said Garud.

As many as 15 enforcement inspectors, 20 sub-inspectors and 50 SEB staff members conducted the raids for more than 13 hours at seven places from 6 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday in Prathipadu, Gandepalli, Rangampeta, Alamuru and Kothapeta, among other places.

“The amount of jaggery wash destroyed after the raids is a state record for a single day,” observed Garud.

From January 23 till Thursday, the SEB has booked 228 ID liquor cases, 164 fermented jaggery cases and 74 other cases as part of its crackdown in view of the panchayat elections.

Similarly, 295 people have been accused during these crackdowns and nearly 3.8 lakh litres of illegal ID liquor, fermented jaggery wash and others were destroyed, including the seizure of 31 vehicles.

As many as 871 accused persons have been bound over under the AP Excise Act and AP Prohibition Act.

The police have set up a special control room with 24×7 helpline number, 9490618510, with WhatsApp support in the ASP’s office.

“The citizens can give any information regarding ID liquor and other banned substances, and we will take immediate action,” added Garud.