District police and excise department are keeping a strict eye on the illicit liquor mafias and bootleggers ahead of Holi festival.

The excise officials said raids are being regularly conducted at hotspots of illicit liquor trade in the district and activities of those with previous records of bootlegging and illicit liquor supply are being monitored. However, a massive crackdown and checking drive will soon be launched after receiving instructions from senior officials ahead of Holi to be celebrated on March 8, officials added.

Meanwhile, Prayagraj police have already started a drive against manufacturing, sale and supply of illicit liquor in the district. The cops are specially focusing on rural areas of trans-Yamuna which are known for illicit liquor manufacturing and supply.

During the last one week, cops at Lalapur, Shankargarh, Kaundhiyara and Meja arrested four persons and seized 75 litres of hooch from their possession. The arrested persons have past records of liquor supply, police officials said while adding that the drive against illicit liquor will continue and gain pace ahead of Holi.

The excise department teams too are regularly patrolling villages infamous for hooch manufacturing. The teams are also making efforts to trace smugglers who are bringing liquor from other states and are selling them in branded liquor bottles. The excise officials said that the department has identified hotspots in rural areas of trans-Yamuna and trans-Ganga which are hubs of illicit liquor manufacturing and supply. Such villages include Behmalpur, Hathigani, Arail, Lavayan etc.

District excise officer Jitendra Singh said that excise department teams are leaving no stone unturned in carrying out raids and taking action against those involved in illicit liquor trade. Massive crackdown will soon be launched against the illicit liquor trade.

People are requested not to buy liquor from unauthorised persons and immediately inform police and excise department if they find anyone selling illicit liquor, he added.

It is worth mentioning that the excise department had identified over 30 liquor mafias in different areas of the district especially in rural areas after deaths of some persons due to consumption of hooch in trans-Ganga region a few years back.

Police and excise department launched a massive crackdown against persons involved in illicit liquor trade and hooch manufacturing after the incident. Moreover, awareness programmes were also launched to make villagers stay away from illicit liquor.

The above news was originally posted on news.google.com