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Get tipsy and cough up fine

A panchayat in the district has decided to impose a fine of Rs 2,500 on anybody caught drinking or selling liquor in the village.

Karma panchayat, in a meeting on December 28, decided to implement the directive at Bhadrar village from the intervening night of the New Year. The panchayat has imposed a total ban on sale of liquor and drinking at the village, around 75km south of Bhagalpur, under the jurisdiction of Banka police station. Anybody caught violating the ban would have to pay Rs 2,500.

Asha Choudhary, the head of Karma panchayat, said: “At least 500 villagers attended the meeting convened on December 28. After a long discussion, it was decided to impose a penalty of Rs 2,500 on people found drinking or selling liquor at the village. The villagers, especially women and children, had to face tremendous hardship because of rampant drinking by the men. So, we decided to impose the ban.”

Most of the 700 and odd villagers are relieved as rise in drunken brawls have led to several disputes in the recent past. Bhadrar is an agriculture-driven village.

Lata Devi, a resident, said: “We had to face problems because of the nuisance created by the inebriated people. The women were forced to live in insecurity.”

On Christmas Day last year, drinkers at Bhadrar got into a fight with inebriated people in the neighbouring Sikanpur village. Tensions ran high between the inhabitants as one person from Sikanpur was injured.

The panchayat called a meeting after the fight and decided to foot the medical expenses of the injured after collecting money from the Bhadrar villagers involved in the fight.

“We had to pay Rs 6,500 for the treatment of the injured person,” said one of the villagers, adding that on September 24 last year, some drunkards in the village had set a grocery shop on fire.

Upendra Prasad Yadav, a member in the panchayat, said: “Several people in the village are frequent drinkers. After the panchayat implemented the directive, no one in the village has dared to drink. Those selling liquor at the village illegally have also vanished.”

Arun Roy, the station house officer of Banka police station, said: “At least a dozen cases related to fights at the village are pending with the station. We have heard about the panchayat’s directive and hope this would help the residents.”