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The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Property seizure stick to fight liquor mafia

Patna, Dec. 17: Chief minister Nitish Kumar today said his government would attach property of people involved in illegal liquor trade.

“We will not spare any person involved in illegal liquor trade. I had made this clear during Adhikar Yatra that the government is serious to take action against the liquor mafia and their network,” he told reporters on the sidelines of his weekly janata durbar.

“Those in the opposition had ruled the state for 15 years, encouraged sale of liquor and gave shelter to the mafia. They are now talking about a ban on liquor trade. Can anybody tell me that sale of illegal liquor can be stopped by imposing a ban? It will instead lead to clandestine sale of liquor and people involved in such business will make money. The state will also lose revenue in form of tax,” Nitish added.

Describing the opposition as “a set of confused people, who do not understand anything”, he said: “People have given their mandate in our favour and we are trying our best to put things in place. The police and the administration are trying to crack the whip on the illegal liquor racket. The chief secretary and the director-general of police are monitoring the crackdown.”

Nitish’s comment comes in the wake of the recent hooch tragedies in Gaya and Ara, which claimed over 30 lives.

A report from Gaya said Mantu Yadav, the prime accused of the hooch tragedy in the district, surrendered in chief judicial magistrate Rajesh Sevak Narayan Pandey’s court today. The court sent him to Gaya central jail for a 14-day judicial custody. With this, two out of the six named accused in an FIR lodged with Rampur police are now in custody. But four others are still on the run.

Gaya senior superintendent of police Vinay Kumar said the police would plead the court to order attachment of Mantu’s property. “We will also try to take him in our remand for interrogation,” the officer added.

RJD leaders and workers today staged a demonstration at JP roundabout near Gandhi Maidan in Patna in protest against sale of illegal liquor.

The chief minister also expressed concern over the Centre’s direct cash transfer scheme. “This is nothing new, as Bihar has implemented the payout process in several schemes,” Nitish said. He refused to comment on Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit’s reported comment that a family of five could survive on Rs 600 a month. “I do not know the context of her statement. But it is not possible for a family of five to survive on Rs 600 a month,” he said.

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