Nagpur: The corridor between Nagpur and Chandrapur, in recent days, stealing the headlines, regularly, for one dubious reason. In fact the corridor has turned a bootlegger corridor the day prohibition came into force in Chandrapur. Prohibition was enforced on April 1 this year. This move by the State Government sparked smuggling of liquor from Nagpur to Chandrapur day-in and day-out. Bootleggers have a hay day. And the law enforcing agencies have hard day. Every second day, either Nagpur police or Government Railway Police or Railway Protection Force are apprehending one or two liquor smugglers. But the crime is refusing to decline. Why should? It is turning out to be a source of earning easy money at no extra cost! In the months of August and September, police have seized liquor stocks worth Rs 1.43 lakh in trains and on roads.
The one side-effect the prohibition in Chandrapur caused was that hundreds of men and women working in beer bars and wine shops were left with no jobs. The only job the unemployed men and women turned to was to smuggle liquor from Nagpur and sell it in prohibited Chandrapur in premium. Initially, since the police were not so focused on the trade, a number of bootleggers managed to smuggle the stuff unhindered and also earned a lot. But as soon as the information started trickling in, police forces cracked down. However, bootlegging continues in variable dimensions.
The headlines suggest that police are netting liquor smugglers five or six times in a month. In the month of August, Railway Police seized liquor worth Rs 49,660 in four operations. In September, police were kept busy seven times with seizer of the stuff amounting to Rs 94,157.
General coach the bootleggers’ choice: The bootleggers, to smuggle the liquor to prized destination Chandrapur, generally travel in general coaches. Travel in reserved coach is a costly affair. But the choice of liquor smugglers is proving handy for the cops. Now, the general coaches of all Chandrapur-bound trains were and are being checked by police and arrests made with occasional success.
Double gain: A bottle of liquor purchased in Nagpur for Rs 140 is sold in prohibited Chandrapur for Rs 250 or more. A net double gain. And also double the number of bootleggers for earning easy money.
Women’s role:The bootleggers have now deployed women in the trade. The reason is that the police forces generally least suspect women smuggling liquor. But once the words started pouring in that women are also in top gear in running the trade, police started keeping a hawk eye on them too.
Following table depicts the smuggling of liquor in the month of August:
- Date Bottles Cost
- Aug 2 100 Rs 5460
- Aug 3 30 Rs 2700
- Aug 8 119 Rs 23800
- Aug 14 42 Rs 5460
- Date Bottles Cost
- Sept 4 24 Rs 3120
- Sept 5 200 Rs 20400
- Sept 8 100 Rs 20218
- Sept 15 24 Rs 9899
- Sept 18 340 Rs 22780
- Sept 25 50 Rs 11000