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Gaurisagar residents seek end to liquor trade

By Pankaj Borthakur

JORHAT, May 16 � As Excise Department officials and local police have allegedly refrained from initiating necessary action to stop the illegal sale and distribution of foreign and domestic liquor at the historic Gaurisagar area in Sivasagar district, besides some nearby villages in the south-western part of this sleepy oil town, several senior citizens, including retired teachers, officers and highly educated farmers of these localities expressed serious concern before this correspondent over the rise in anti-social activities along with a spurt in road accidents due to consumption of liquor in the aforementioned localities.

They said that both foreign and domestic liquor can be easily purchased from �rural vendors� by the school-going students also, which has turned out to be a grave problem for many rural families in certain areas near Gaurisagar.

Urging the Sivasagar Deputy Commissioner, Superintendent of Police along with the officials of the State Excise Department to take immediate steps to stop the illegal trade and distribution of liquor in the historic temple township, the citizens said that a section of wine shop owners have engaged distributors in some villages of Dikhowmukh and many other nearby areas by flouting the Excise Department�s guidelines.

Many meritorious students have lately gone astray due to over indulgence in liquor during their teenage, lamented a senior citizen of Gaurisagar.

He said that even tender-aged students can easily purchase foreign or domestic liquor from the illegally engaged rural vendors without facing any question about age bar, even though sale of liquor is prohibited to customers below a certain age as per the stipulated order.

�Even after the recent condemnable assault on renowned artist Bipin Chaudang near Gaurisagar by two intoxicated youths, neither police nor officials of the State Excise Department adopted any visible action to stop the illegal sale and distribution of liquor in the area. We have heard that the concerned officials have been bribed by a section of liquor dealers, which has led to serious problems in many villages at Dikhowmukh, Khonamukh, Bhogamukh and many other areas near Gaurisagar,� opined a retired teacher.

�You may be surprised to know that even the liquor vendors of remote villages like Raghubari, Bharalua and many others have to pay local police on a weekly basis in order to continue their illegal trade in their respective localities. Not surprisingly, the police has never been seen to take any visible action against them,� another senior citizen informed.

Several unreported incidents of domestic violence and road mishaps were also cited as a consequence of intoxication in these localities.

Incidentally, a year ago some housewives and educated women of Bharalua village at Dikhowmukh took out a rally and staged a public protest against the unabated illegal sale of liquor in the villages and demanded stringent legal action against the �wrongdoers�. However, as expected, police and the concerned Excise officials refrained from nabbing any of the �wrongdoers�.

�Illegal distribution of liquor in our villages is indirectly encouraged by inaction of the concerned police and Excise officials. Several incidents of violence have taken place due to drunkenness. We requested the DC and SP to take necessary action to stop such illegal trade of liquor and compel the Government officers to do their assigned duties in the interest of restoring peace and tranquility in our villages,� said an elderly woman of Dikhowmukh.

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Gaurisagar residents seek end to liquor trade

JORHAT, May 16 � As Excise Department officials and local police have allegedly refrained from initiating necessary action to stop the illegal sale and distribution of foreign and domestic liquor at the historic Gaurisagar area in Sivasagar district, besides some nearby villages in the south-western part of this sleepy oil town, several senior citizens, including retired teachers, officers and highly educated farmers of these localities expressed serious concern before this correspondent over the rise in anti-social activities along with a spurt in road accidents due to consumption of liquor in the aforementioned localities.

They said that both foreign and domestic liquor can be easily purchased from �rural vendors� by the school-going students also, which has turned out to be a grave problem for many rural families in certain areas near Gaurisagar.

Urging the Sivasagar Deputy Commissioner, Superintendent of Police along with the officials of the State Excise Department to take immediate steps to stop the illegal trade and distribution of liquor in the historic temple township, the citizens said that a section of wine shop owners have engaged distributors in some villages of Dikhowmukh and many other nearby areas by flouting the Excise Department�s guidelines.

Many meritorious students have lately gone astray due to over indulgence in liquor during their teenage, lamented a senior citizen of Gaurisagar.

He said that even tender-aged students can easily purchase foreign or domestic liquor from the illegally engaged rural vendors without facing any question about age bar, even though sale of liquor is prohibited to customers below a certain age as per the stipulated order.

�Even after the recent condemnable assault on renowned artist Bipin Chaudang near Gaurisagar by two intoxicated youths, neither police nor officials of the State Excise Department adopted any visible action to stop the illegal sale and distribution of liquor in the area. We have heard that the concerned officials have been bribed by a section of liquor dealers, which has led to serious problems in many villages at Dikhowmukh, Khonamukh, Bhogamukh and many other areas near Gaurisagar,� opined a retired teacher.

�You may be surprised to know that even the liquor vendors of remote villages like Raghubari, Bharalua and many others have to pay local police on a weekly basis in order to continue their illegal trade in their respective localities. Not surprisingly, the police has never been seen to take any visible action against them,� another senior citizen informed.

Several unreported incidents of domestic violence and road mishaps were also cited as a consequence of intoxication in these localities.

Incidentally, a year ago some housewives and educated women of Bharalua village at Dikhowmukh took out a rally and staged a public protest against the unabated illegal sale of liquor in the villages and demanded stringent legal action against the �wrongdoers�. However, as expected, police and the concerned Excise officials refrained from nabbing any of the �wrongdoers�.

�Illegal distribution of liquor in our villages is indirectly encouraged by inaction of the concerned police and Excise officials. Several incidents of violence have taken place due to drunkenness. We requested the DC and SP to take necessary action to stop such illegal trade of liquor and compel the Government officers to do their assigned duties in the interest of restoring peace and tranquility in our villages,� said an elderly woman of Dikhowmukh.