Days after a spat between Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot over alleged sale and consumption of illicit liquor in the prohibition state, the Gujarat police announced a week-long special drive in all districts and cities to check bootlegging.
A notification dated October 9 by the Deputy Police Superintendent (Control Room) Komal Vyas, at the behest of Director General of Police (DGP) Shivanand Jha, has asked all senior police officials in each district and city of the state to conduct a ‘special drive’ against bootlegging and gambling, from October 10 to October 16.
According to the notification, all police officials have been asked to check listed bootleggers and gamblers in their respective areas and raid illicit liquor and gambling dens, which were active in the past or are active in present. Police must also identify places where illicit liquor is being manufactured, collected and sold. The Local Crime Branch and other police agencies will also assist the local police in this special drive, to ensure that all suspected dens have been raided upon in their respective areas. Senior officials have been asked to motivate police personnel and ensure that the drive is carried out efficiently.
The state monitoring cell will also be working in coordination with the local police in this drive, read the notification.
Last Sunday, Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot questioned Gujarat’s prohibition policy, stating that during his stay in Gujarat for a year during the assembly polls, he found “maximum consumption of liquor in the state “ and that “liquor is consumed in almost all households”. Gehlot was Gujarat Congress in-charge for the 2017 assembly polls. The following day, CM Rupani slammed the remarks of his Rajasthan counterpart, saying that it is “an insult to 6.5 crore Gujaratis. It doesn’t bode well that he calls all Gujaratis drunkards.” Rupani demanded an apology from Gehlot and also challenged him to implement a similar liquor prohibition in Rajasthan.
Following the remarks made by Rupani, CM Gehlot told reporters in Jodhpur on Wednesday that he would resign from his post if he is proven wrong on his claims or else, the Gujarat CM should leave his post. Meanwhile, in the midst of all the mudslinging, former Gujarat CM Shankersinh Vaghela alleged that illicit liquor is being sold openly behind the bungalows of the CM and the governor in Gandhinagar, adding that the state government has failed in its prohibition.
Reacting to the comments made by Vaghela, Gandhinagar Superintendent of Police, Mayur Chavda said, “As per the drive initiated by the DGP Gujarat, we have conducted raids at many paces in entire Gandhinagar, including the town area. There are no specific areas that we are focusing on at the moment.”