Belgaum, Feb 17 (IANS) A group of bootleggers in this north Karnataka district Thursday rained stones on a raiding party led by Excise Minister M.P. Renukacharya, forcing the police to fire in the air to chase them away.
A policeman was injured in the head in the stoning at Karavi village in Belgaum, about 500 km from Bangalore. The minister was not hurt.
“Our people fired thrice in the air to disperse the over 50 bootleggers in the area,” a Belgaum police spokesperson said.
Renukacharya, accompanied by police, officials of his excise department and a few media personnel, went to the village following information that large scale illegal brewing of liquor was on in the area.
As the party neared the spot where brewing activity was on, they were greeted by stones.
Renukacharya later told reporters that he would not be deterred by such attacks and would continue raids across the state.
“We are losing revenue heavily because of bootlegging. We are determined to put an end,” he said.
The state government expects to earn over Rs.8,000 crore (Rs.80 billion) in revenue from liquor sale in the 2010-11 financial year ending March 31. In 2009-10 financial year, the state had earned Rs.7,001 crore in excise revenue.