Bihar CM urges officials to continue action against alcohol mafia with the help of drones and sniffer dogs
The government of Nitish Kumar has decided to conduct a census of those who have quit the habit of drinking alcohol in dry Bihar. He also ordered police and administrative officials to continue their action against the alcohol mafia using drones, sniffer dogs, motorboats, etc.
“The previous survey indicated that 1.64 crore people quit drinking alcohol, but now we have decided to do a census to find out the exact number of those who quit the habit,” said Mr. Kumar at a meeting of the Prohibition and Excise Department. Monday.
The Chief Minister has ordered officials to continue their action against the alcohol mafia and operators using drones, motorboats, sniffer dogs etc. to dismantle illegal liquor manufacturing units.
Banned since 2016
Bihar was declared a dry state after the entry into force in April 2016 of the Prohibition and State Excise Act 2016. in the river areas of Vaishali, Saran, Patna and other districts. The district police are using sniffer dogs to smoke out illegal domestically-made alcohol-making units in villages and remote areas. However, more than 30 people have died in recent months after consuming fake alcohol, while some have lost their sight.
The Nitish government, however, has been criticized for such poor deaths and the availability of illegal alcohol. But, Mr. Kumar was determined to implement the strict liquor law.
“We have also ordered the authorities to expedite the prosecution of those involved in the illegal alcohol trade. The alcohol ban was imposed in Bihar in April 2016 and since then other states also want to put implemented the same,” Mr Kumar said, adding that “the consumption of milk, sweets, vegetables and fruits has increased dramatically in the state since alcohol was banned and that has been a sign growing for us.
However, Mr Kumar’s ally, Jitan Ram Manjhi of the Hindustani Awam Morcha (secular), at a meeting in Gaya on Tuesday, said: “sharab pina buri baat hai, doctors lekin aur log kehte hain ki thodi thodi pina chahiye [liquor drinking is a bad thing but doctors and others say it should be taken in small quantity]. Mr. Manjhi added: “they [the officials] dare not arrest deputies, IAS agents and fat people who swallow alcohol from big bottles every night, but they only catch the poor”.
A few days ago, ruling JD(U) MP Narendra Kumar aka Gopal Mandal sparked controversy with his comments on illegal alcohol consumption and people dying in the state because of it. “Although the Chief Minister regularly appeals not to drink alcohol, people drink it and die. It’s good that it creates space in society and controls people,” said Mr Mandal who was recently caught wandering around in his underwear in a train bogie.