KOCHI: Hidayath Nagar near the town of Kalamassery – where an illegal liquor racket was unearthed on Saturday – is known for his anti-social activities, local residents said. Locals had teamed up with police to track down youths who smuggled drugs, but ended up unearthing alcohol sales using migrant workers. Police arrested three people – Pyarilal, 49, from Pallilamkara to Kalamassery, and his aides Suryaprabhan and Ramesh Maji, both from West Bengal – in connection with the incident. Pyarilal has been involved in alcohol sales using migrant workers. Recently, Kalamassery police arrested two local youths and recovered drugs from them. Following this, the residents decided to form a committee and carry out frequent checks in the area.
“In recent years, Hidayath Nagar has been known for its drug and alcohol supply,” said Gireesh Babu, a social activist. He said most of these illegal activities are concentrated in rented houses, with even structures unsuitable for living rented out at huge rates.
“Such activities are carried out in collusion with home owners without even a lease contract,” Gireesh added. There are numerous complaints that stores near educational institutions continue to sell tobacco products despite the ban on such practices, he said. On Saturday, local residents damaged a small store on HMT Road where prohibited alcohol and tobacco products were sold by Pyarilal, the first accused in the illegal alcohol sale case. Pyarilal had been selling alcohol illegally for the past two years and providing alcohol at high prices when bars were closed, a local resident said.
Pyarilal had bought bottles of alcohol from Bevco stores to sell to migrant workers and had installed a mobile bar in a rickshaw. Police said local residents complained that Pyarilal offered a service to drink alcohol in the rickshaw while it was on the move. Bottles of alcohol were stored in the accommodation of migrant workers nearby. The defendants were brought before the court which took them into custody, police said.