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Saturday, January 28, 2023
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Check distribution of liquor ‘coupons’ to voters during Punjab polls, says EC

Fearing free flow of liquor and drugs can hamper fair Assembly polls in Punjab, the Election Commission (EC) has asked various law enforcement agencies to especially check the “parchi system” (coupon system) through which liquor is often sponsored by candidates.

Main districts affected

Drugs: Pathankot | Amritsar | Tarn Taran | Hoshiarpur | Ropar | Ludhiana | Ferozepur | Bathinda | Patiala

Liquor: Gurdaspur | Amritsar | Ludhiana | Ferozepur

Seizures during 2017 elections

    • Liquor 4.25 lakh lt
    • Poppy husk 2,342 kg
    • Ganja 146 kg
    • Opium 132 kg
    • Charas 14.4 kg
    • Heroin 11.9 kg
    • Drug powder 7.7 kg
    • Smack 0.39 kg

The EC has conveyed to the state Excise Department that the Excise Act/Rules prohibit sale of liquor in any form other than cash. The panel asked district excise officials to take action against such shops which might accept coupons to give liquor.

Promotion

It has also asked the department to monitor the daily sale of liquor retail shops by comparing it with the figures of average daily sale of preceding months.

Similarly, it urged close monitoring of liquor shops showing a significant increase in stock, shops located in slums or in proximity of slums and shops in interior rural pockets. The poll panel has also asked the law enforcement agencies to check records during the previous two elections and identify the “potential problematic areas”.

The department has been directed to establish and operationalise round-the-clock check-posts with CCTVs at strategic locations in their jurisdiction.

Apart from this, the commission has directed the department to focus on arrest of kingpins, stockists and distributors for effective deterrence. “In liquor cases, most of the FIRs are filed against foot soldiers. Efforts should be made to catch hold of the kingpins.”

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The use of banned narcotics has emerged another area of concern for the EC during the Punjab elections as drugs worth Rs 18.26 crore were seized during the last Assembly elections.

#Punjabpolls2022. The above news was originally posted on www.tribuneindia.com

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