GUWAHATI, March 25: The Election Commission of India (ECI) has asked retail and wholesale units of liquor stores in Assam to report daily stock positions and incidences of suspicious lifting of stocks in order to keep a check on liquor flow.
According to reports, the directive has been given keeping in mind the impending Lok Sabha elections to be held in three phases in Assam – April 11, 18 and 23 next.
An excise department official said that as per the EC directive, the retail and wholesale units have been asked to report their daily stock positions and the same is being sent on a daily basis.
The official also said that the seizure reports will have to be sent to EC on a daily basis and by 3 pm. It should contain seizures made between 9 am of the previous day and 9 am of the day of reporting.
The seizure reports are being sent to EC since the model code of conduct came into force and will continue till the elections are over. Apart from incidences of “suspicious” lifting of stock, the retailers and wholesalers have also been asked to provide details of the person who has placed the order.
Flying squads have also been formed at the district and field level to check the flow of liquor. Three flying squads have been kept on stand-by at the Guwahati headquarters of the Excise Commissionerate.
An official said, “No abnormal lifting of liquor has been detected so far. Surveillance will be stepped up once the campaign picks up.” The Excise Department has provided two numbers for the people to register complaints regarding illicit liquor. The toll free number 18003453545 and the WhatsApp number is 9435052381.
After the model code of conduct came into force, over 25,263 litres of illicit liquor have been seized in the state by police and excise teams.