Chief minister Nitish Kumar has ordered the district administration to bring the business of illicit liquor under the purview of the economic offences wing, providing a fillip to the endeavour of women to fight the menace in several villages of Muzaffarpur.
Nitish, who was in Muzaffarpur on Sunday to garner support for the Adhikar Rally, held a review meeting on law and order with the district officials. Taking serious note of the illegal liquor trade carried out allegedly with the support of excise officials, he directed senior administrative and police officers to curb the menace and lend support to the crusading women.
The Telegraph had in its September 13 edition reported how members of self-help groups affiliated to the state women development corporation busted several outlets selling illicit liquor in the villages and handed over a number of bootleggers to police.
District magistrate Santosh Kumar Mall said he told Nitish about the supply of crude materials used to make illicit wine from neighbouring Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
“The raw spirit is being brought to the district from the two states on the pretext of using it for polishing furniture. However, the chemical is used to manufacture illicit liquor,” he added.
Nitish, during the meeting, directed the police officers to bring the unlawful trade under the economic offences wing of the police department, commended the efforts of the rural women and ordered officials to augment investigation into the trade. “The properties of the traders, who have amassed wealth in the business, would also be seized under laws framed by the government,” Mall said.
In the last fortnight, around 147 persons have been arrested and raides were conducted at 160 illicit liquor manufacturing unit. Dadar ward councillor Mamta Singh, who led about 30 women from the Sikandarpur slum areas in demolishing 50 illegal wine units on Sunday evening, alleged that neither the police nor the excise department had assisted them in their efforts.