Liquor shops beyond Telangana border to close 2 days before polls

Hyderabad: Liquor shops in neighbouring states located within five km from the Telangana border will be closed 48 hours before polling day on 7 December, Telangana Principal Secretary (Excise) Somesh Kumar said Friday.

As part of curbing illegal liquor flow during the polls, Somesh Kumar conducted an inter-state meeting with senior excise officials of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra.

“The habitual offenders (related to illegal liquor) on both sides of the borders have been identified and it was agreed to ensure that they would be arrested or bound over as per the case. The excise shops within 5 km from the Telangana state border has been identified and dry days will be maintained from 48 hours before the close of polls on December 7,” he said.

Telangana has borders with Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Chattisgarh. The meeting was organised as per the directive of the Election Commission with an aim to discuss issues related to flow of liquor from bordering states, he said. It was agreed to improve coordination, vigil and sharing of information between state excise officers and the bordering states agreed to increase temporary check posts and mobile parties across the borders, the official said.

It was also agreed to increase joint raids with Telangana state excise officials and their counter parts in vulnerable areas, Somesh Kumar said. During raids and inspections, 3.11 lakh litres of liquor valued at Rs 6.17 crore has been seized, he said. Telangana Chief Electoral Officer Rajat Kumar directed excise officials from other states to send reports on seizures and results of various measures taken up by them.