Bihar: Nitish Kumar vows to review implementation of liquor ban
Chief minister Nitish Kumar on Monday vowed to conduct a full review of the implementation of prohibition in the state and fix the responsibility of government officials in compromising the ban after being stung by 41 hooch deaths in Bihar within a week.
In a message to the politicians criticising him, the chief minister asked them to provide information if they saw the ban being flouted because it was everybody’s responsibility.
“We are going to conduct a full review of prohibition on November 16. It will be done district-wise. We also want to know why liquor seized in any district away from the borders was not seized in the districts through which it was transported,” Nitish said.
“We have asked the chief secretary, director-general of police and other officials concerned to find out who was not taking action against liquor. We will take action against officials who did not take timely action in this regard,” Nitish added.
Speaking on the sidelines of his janata durbar, Nitish replied to media questions on back-to-back hooch tragedies in Gopalganj, West Champaran and Samastipur districts.
He also stressed the need for a fresh awareness campaign against the consumption of liquor and highlighted the need to find out whether the fear of the law was absent among the people.
However, Nitish said “there will always be people who would do something wrong” despite the efforts by the government.
Prohibition is Nitish’s pet project. He imposed it in April 2016 though the availability of liquor never stopped with the mafia taking deep roots across the state in nexus with the enforcement agencies and politicians. Hooch tragedies have also been happening since then, though their pace has increased and has led to the loss of around 95 lives this year.
The chief minister also responded to recent criticisms of prohibition by leaders from various parties, including BJP president Sanjay Jaiswal and Opposition leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav.
“I feel sad that people give various kinds of statements. Why do they just give statements? Why don’t they catch the culprits? They should provide information if they notice anything wrong happening. They should remember that all parties unanimously supported prohibition, hence they should assist in its implementation,” Nitish said.
The chief minister asserted that he had not implemented prohibition for his personal interest, but did it for the sake of the welfare of the people. He also emphasised on the benefits of liquor ban and claimed that it had helped improve the standard of living of the people besides bringing down domestic violence.