Flood of liquor flowed into state despite Prohibition, Bihar minister admits

Patna: The Bihar government on Thursday admitted that hundreds of thousands of litres of liquor flowed into the state in the year gone by despite the strict dry law.

Replying to a starred question by BJP MLC Dilip Kumar Jaiswal, prohibition and excise minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav accepted that it was "partially correct" that despite the strict provisions of Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act, 2016, alcohol was illegally reaching cities and towns.

"Around 6.52 lakh raids have been conducted by the police and excise officials between April 1, 2016 and March 6, 2018, in which 1.22 lakh persons have been arrested," the minister said, outlining how the government was combating the smuggling. "Altogether 16.4 lakh litres of IMFL (Indian made foreign liquor) and around 12.4 lakh litres of various types of country liquor have been seized so far."

It is an open secret that the liquor mafia have opened supply routes to Bihar in nexus with police, excise officials and a few politicians. Police sources say the deeply entrenched and well-oiled mafia is roping in youngsters into the distribution network.

A top police officer said the worry is that these groups of youths could become a huge cause of concern with their money and muscle power and could develop a parallel administration or influence the ground-level administration and politics.

Chief minister Nitish Kumar is aware of the problem, as evidenced by him admonishing police and excise officials over organised liquor syndicates.

The cabinet has recently created a separate prohibition wing of the police. It is currently conducting trials of a single telephone number that can receive all prohibition related complaints and ensure that action is taken within an hour.


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