The state Excise and Prohibition Department on Tuesday banned temporarily the sale of nine brands of liquor after the death of five people who had consumed adulterated versions of it.
Officials also collected samples of the liquor from wine shops, bars and distilleries across the state to confirm that the liquor dispatched to all shops and bars across the state was safe. The nine brands identified by the officials include, Original Choice, Royal Stag, Director's Special (DSP), Old Admiral Brandy, Bagpiper, Old Tavern, Mcdowell's No. 1 Whisky, Imperial Blue and Mc Brandy.
The sale of only the stock belonging to a recently produced batch has been banned. “Samples have been collected and sent for tests. We want to ensure that no adulterated or spurious liquor is being sold. Raids are also being conducted to check illegal practices,” said Mr M.K. Meena, Commissioner, Excise and Managing Director, AP Beverages Corporation Limited.
Excise Deputy Commissioner of Guntur district P. Srimannarayana said that raids were conducted in Mangalagiri, Guntur, Tenali, Narasaraopeta, Chilakaluripeta and other areas of the district and that they would continue the checks to root out any semblance of spurious liquor.
Minister for agriculture P. Pulla Rao warned that the government would cancel the licenses of liquor shops that promoted illegal belt shops. Thirty one samples were collected from bars and restaurants in East Godavari district. In Nellore, teams of excise officials concentrated on the cheap liquor brand, Original Choice, from batch No 120 and directed the liquor shops to stop its sale. Vizag officials informed that they had collected samples from various bars after forming 10 special teams.
Opposition leader and YSR Congress chief Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy promised complete liquor prohibition in the state after coming to power in future. Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy was speaking after visiting families of deceased persons in liquor adulteration incident at Government General Hospital on Tuesday.
Mr Jagan said that the Telugu Desam leaders have been encouraging liquor adulteration and functioning of belt shops in the state. He alleged that the state government is keen on making money from liquor in the state and has been adopting various methods. The Opposition leader demanded compensation of Rs 20 lakh for each of the victim's family.