Now available, liquor at a grocery shop at School Line

Report by: 
ROOPA LALL
Port Blair
4 Apr 2017

Implementation of stricter excise policy and enforcement of the diktat of Apex Court was expected to result in increase of  illegal liquor trade in the islands particularly in South Andaman and the signs are ominous. After a couple of  reports published in this daily relating to illegal liquor vends operating in the city, fresh revelation about another such illicit outlet operating at another residential area in the city has come to fore.  Armed with a spy camera, this correspondent embarked on an investigative tour in the School Line area and came out with some startling disclosures. In the guise of a grocery shop, the owner of the outlet at School Line located meters away from a prominent temple has been running the illegal liquor trade for the past several months hoodwinking the law enforcing agencies.
Susheela (name changed), a homemaker from the area said, “The illegal liquor shop has developed a sizeable clientele over the past few months particularly after the revised excise policy came into force. Teenagers and elderly citizens are among the most regular customers of the illegal liquor shop which appears to be a grocery shop on first sight. The trader has successfully managed to deceive the law enforcing agencies by housing grocery items in one half of the outlet while the illegal liquor business operates from the other half.”
“Our children were increasingly falling into alcohol addiction due to the operation of  this illegal liquor vend. Even senior citizens can be noticed roaming around the vend to quench their crave for alcohol. On the pretext of selling groceries, the trader has garnered huge profits by illegal sale of liquor in the recent months. Liquor is made available to customers from as early as 6.30 am everyday including dry days. The illegal vend has now become a scourge for the residents of the area as it is destroying families. The law enforcing agencies should take a serious note of the situation and conduct surprise raid to nail the culprit who has managed to flout the excise regulations with impunity,” says Subash Halder, another resident of the area.
The Echo of India, in its edition on March 17 this year, reported about an  unauthorised liquor vend operating near the bus stand at Bhatu Basti close to the parking lot. Acting on the report, the police raided the spot and seized excessive stock of IMFL. The manager of the bar and the lease owner were arrested and a case under 32 Regulation III of 1876 was registered. In another expose, this daily published a picture of an illegal liquor vend operating in full swing at Dairyfarm, in one of the most thickly populated residential areas in the city.