In special drive, 26 liquor traders held in UP's Chitrakoot over last three days

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Chitrakoot/Lucknow, Mar 24 (PTI) As many as 26 liquor traders have been arrested in the past three days following the death of seven persons due to consumption of suspected spurious liquor, police said on Wednesday.

Superintendent of Police of Chitrakoot Ankit Mittal on Wednesday told PTI that seven people have died due to consumption of liquor in the villages of Khopa, Bhadedu and Devari under Rajapur police station area, while 15 others became ill.

'In the past three days, 26 liquor traders have been arrested and 328 litres of liquor, 87 litres of chemical, 12 furnaces (bhatti) and 37 quintal of rotten mahua was seized and destroyed,' he said.

As many as 16 cases have been registered under the Excise Act. The SP also said a meeting was held with licencees and salesmen of 176 government shops under the subdivisional magistrates and circle officers and search operations are going on.

Mittal also said a case of murder along with other sections of the law has been registered against the seven accused people, of which five have been arrested. Action is being initiated against them under the UP Gangsters Act.

Meanwhile, Additional Chief Secretary (Excise) Sanjay R Bhoosreddy in a statement issued in Lucknow said that in view of the increase in consumption of illicit liquor during Holi, the Excise department will run a special enforcement campaign in the state till March 31 to keep a tab on manufacturing, smuggling and sale of illicit liquor.

P Guruprasad, Excise Commissioner of Uttar Pradesh, informed that a control room has been set up at the headquarters of Excise department, Prayagraj which will be operational from March 20 on all days 24x7.

The Excise Commissioner said that a toll free number - 1800 1805 331 - and a WhatsApp number 94544 66019 have been issued for the general public where complaints can be lodged regarding manufacture and sale of illicit liquor, about persons involved in illicit liquor business and suspected places of illegal liquor, about sale of liquor in places other than the license shops and any other complaints about illicit liquor. PTI NAV HDA