Two police constables were suspended on Wednesday for allegedly taking bribes for allowing illegal liquor transport and movement of a person through the inter-state border with Telangana during the COVID-19 lockdown in Andhra Pradesh.
The two, posted at border checkposts, were placed under suspension by Krishna District Superintendent of police M Ravindranadh Babu after preliminary inquiries.
J Nagamalleswara Rao, a constable from Gamapalagudem, had demanded and accepted a bribe of Rs 10,000 for illegal liquor transport from Telangana to Andhra Pradesh during the ongoing coronavirus lockdown, the SP said.
Visannapet constable Ajay took a bribe Rs 1,000 from a man to allow him enter the state from Telangana without necessary documents, he added.
Last week, authorities in Andhra Pradesh made several arrests across three districts â€” Krishna, Guntur and Kurnool â€” cracking down on people trying to smuggle in liquor from Telangana and sell it at a cheaper rate amid the lockdown.
The Andhra government has prohibited the sale of liquor in red zones and has hiked the tax on liquor in other zones by 75%, while the Telangana government has allowed the sale of liquor across the state and is selling it at a hike of 16%.
As a result, some smugglers are attempting to cross the border to Telangana, purchase alcohol for a cheaper rate and sell it in Telangana.
"Certain incidents of illegal smuggling of liquor are in our cognisance. We have constituted special teams with officers from police and excise departments, which are working together to tackle such activities," Inspector-General of Police (IGP-Enforcement) and Director of Excise and Prohibition, Vineet Brijlal had told TNM last week.
The development came even as the Andhra Pradesh government recently said that it had decided to set up a special enforcement bureau to look into illegal manufacture and smuggling of liquor in the state.