Following the demand by social activist Anna Hazare to set up ‘Gram Rakshak Dals’ (rural community police) in villages across the state to curb brewing and consumption of illicit liquor, the state cabinet has approved amendments to the Maharashtra Prohibition Act.
A Bill seeking amendment to the Act has already been proposed to facilitate setting up of the Gram Rakshak Dals.
Members of these groups will help the local police in curbing sale of illicit liquor in villages. The government is planning to come out with stringent norms and has asked the police to promptly look into complaints and conduct regular review meetings on the issue.
A GR too was issued in March this year by the Home Department on curbing illicit sale of liquor in villages.
“It will be mandatory for police officials to immediately register a case if there is a complaint of illegal manufacture or sale of liquor. Apart from those involved in the act, action should also be taken against the landlord of the place if there is evidence of his involvement,” the GR had stated.
The GR had mandated police officers to conduct regular checks to detect manufacture and sale of spurious liquor and destroy the seized goods. However, Anna Hazare has been demanding setting up of Gram Rakshak Dals at the village level for effective results. The GR had also said that those found repeatedly involved in trade and manufacturing of illicit liquor would be booked under the stringent Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Slumlords, Bootleggers and Drug Offenders Act.