Spread awareness to avoid hooch tragedies: Court

New Delhi, March 6 (IANS) In order to prevent the deaths of people by consuming spurious liquor, the Delhi High Court asked the Delhi Police to spread awareness amongst the public by wide publicity and arranging street plays.

Justice V.K. Jain, in a series of guidelines issued to the police, said: ‘Display boards, educating and cautioning the public against consumption of spurious liquor will be displayed at appropriate places within six weeks.’

The court also directed the police to issue advertisements in Hindi newspapers, informing the people of the harmful effects of consuming spurious liquor.

‘The courts, in which the cases related to hooch tragedies are pending, shall hear those cases on priority basis and dispose them off within one year,’ the court said.

The court’s direction came on a petition filed by the mother of a victim, who died in a hooch tragedy in West Delhi last year. She demanded that strict action be taken against the accused persons and authorities concerned be directed to take adequate steps to prevent the sale and manufacture of illicit liquor.

Police have so far registered complaints against 11 people in the case.

‘Police will keep those persons who are alleged to be indulging in sale, manufacture, distribution of illicit liquor under regular watch. Deputy commissioner of police (South-West) will personally visit the areas and identify the points where special pickets need to be set up,’ the court said while appreciating the efforts of the police in organising awareness measures such as ‘nukkar nataks’ (street plays) in order to educate the public.

The court also directed the police to take the help of resident welfare associations and market associations, and deploy volunteers to brief people on door-to-door basis about the negative effects of consuming illicit liquor.

At least 48 people were killed last year in Raghubir Nagar in west Delhi and Dabri in south-west Delhi after consuming illicit liquor.

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