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Virendra Singh Rawat / Lucknow

Ahead of the high stake Uttar Pradesh assembly polls, the Uttar Pradesh government has stepped up border vigil to curb interstate liquor and narcotic smuggling.

On Saturday (Jan 8), the Election Commission of India (ECI) in New Delhi declared the poll dates for UP. The elections for the 403 assembly constituencies in UP would be held in seven phases in Feb and March 2022 viz. Feb 10, 14, 20, 23, 27 and March 3 and 7.

During elections, the flow of illicit and spurious liquor from the adjoining states, especially where the comparative excise duty is lower, is quite rampant. This not only creates a health issue but also impacts the revenue kitty of the state.

In 2019 Lok Sabha elections, a haul of nearly Rs 200 crore in unaccounted cash/precious metals, narcotics and liquor was made across UP by the law enforcement agencies, including police and Income Tax

Recently, UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath had directed officials to clamp down upon the illicit liquor and narcotic trade in wake of the impending elections.

The UP government will coordinate with the respective authorities in the adjoining states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Jharkhand in this regard.

Besides, security is being beefed up along the international borders with Nepal. Several UP districts including Bahraich, Shrawasti, Balrampur, Siddharth Nagar and Maharajganj share border with the Himalayan kingdom.

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UP additional chief secretary, home, Awanish Kumar Awasthi on Friday said foolproof steps were being taken to ring fence against the menace of illicit trade of liquor and narcotic. He said stern action would be taken against culprits and random checks would be made in the sensitive areas, highways and liquor vends.

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