Chhatrapur: Former sarpanch and bootlegger identified as Balaram Sahu was arrested today evening by the Excise Department in Chhatrapur of Ganjam for selling country-made liquor. He earlier represented Komanda panchayat under Khallikote block in the district.
Balaram was apprehended along with his aide identified as Bhagaban Behera, a source said.
According to the police source, Balaram was twice elected as a local people’s representative from the panchayat. Initially, he got elected to the rural body in 2012 and then again in 2017. He did not contest for the office after sarpanch post was reserved for scheduled caste candidates in 2022.
Balaram started the illegal trade after he had to leave active politics and as he could not contest.
On being tipped off about the man’s illegal activities, a joint team of Excise personnel from Chhatrapur and Khallikote carried out a raid leading to the arrest of Balaram.
The team also seized two sacks containing country-made liquors following the raid.