Economy

Hooch sellers seek fiscal package to start ‘new life'

Press Trust of India Kolkata | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on December 21, 2011

Rattled by public outcry over illegal liquor sale that has claimed 173 lives in South 24-Parganas district a week back, the hooch-sellers have demanded a financial package as a pre-condition to discarding their trade on the lines of one announced for the Maoists.

The bootleggers have formed a committee for the purpose and pasted posters on the walls of the Joynagar railway station, close to Sangrampur from where most of the victims hailed, requesting for a financial package “to start a new life.”

“We want to do away with the country liquor business and seek financial package announced by the State government for Maoists and extremists like KLO,” the posters read.

The posters said that they had formed a committee ‘Jiban Sangram Committee' seeking ‘mercy' of the Chief Minister, Ms Mamata Banerjee, for a financial package ‘to eke out a living.'

“While Maoists can be offered such a package and assistance even after killing innocent people, we can expect such help from our Chief Minister,” the posters said.

One of the hooch sellers told reporters that their livelihood was in jeopardy as angry villagers razed liquor joints and distilleries after the deaths.

“We are now totally jobless. We want to lead a new life and we cannot die with our family for want of food,” he said.

The posters also demanded immediate arrest of hooch racket kingpin Khonra Badshah who was still at large.

Villagers said that nearly 20,000 people were engaged in the illicit liquor trade in nearly 3,000 illegal joints and small distilleries spread over Mograhat, Joynagar, Usthi, Mandirbazar, Baruipur, Gocharan and other areas in the district.

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Published on December 21, 2011
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