STATES

Andhra Pradesh Beverages Corporation identifies 741 vulnerable wine shops, steps up security

Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: Officials of APSBCL (Andhra Pradesh State Beverages Corporation Limited) conducted a survey on the safety measures at liquor shops after two persons working at government-run liquor shops were killed in two different incidents reported in Krishna and Vizianagaram districts.

They have reportedly identified close to 741 stores as vulnerable and lacking basic security for the staff working during the night. In order to prevent such incidents from repeating in the future, the corporation reportedly has decided to arrange two security guards at the vulnerable wine shops and CCTV cameras at all stores. In Velagaleru of Krishna district, the accused (whose identity is yet to be traced) murdered a 63-year-old watchman, Chattu Somaiah, and stole 96 liquor bottles from the wine shop on December 12.

A similar incident was reported at Narava village in Gantyada mandal of Vizianagaram district on December 20. In several other incidents, miscreants have attacked wine shops during the night and injured security guards while trying to loot liquor.  APSBCL MD D Vasudeva Reddy said, “CCTV cameras set up at all liquor stores will be linked to the cloud storage and be monitored through a central commanding centre.”  The family members alleged that officials have failed to provide basic safety to those who have been guarding the wine shops.

“Our family member was murdered brutally while preventing robbery at the liquor shop. No official paid a visit and did not even announce aid to the bereaved family. For the sake of their shops, why should we sacrifice our lives?” rued Somaiah’s kin. 

Sources in the department told TNIE that APSBCL is mulling to call for tenders and rope in a private company to take over step up safety measures such as providing guards for liquor stores and other security aspects. “The department believes this move will improve working conditions and strengthen the security,” sources said.

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