In ‘dry’ Bihar, liquor flows in many shapes and forms

Earlier this week, excise officials in Rohtas, acting on a tip-off, seized a container truck that had Dak Parcel written big on it. Inside, there was nothing to suggest it was carrying anything that resembled a parcel. What tumbled out was a a big consignment of IMFL, 3,330 liters of it in 370 cartons.

Under surveillance of excise sleuths, police and the state government, liquor smugglers in Bihar, where total prohibition was imposed on April 5, 2016, are hitting novel ways to ply their trade.

In initial days of prohibition, they used interstate buses and trains to smuggle liquor from neighbouring states. But as the agencies started plugging the loopholes, they turned to vehicles like ambulances.

Recently, a man was caught in Kaimur district carrying liquor in a tube used in tyres of heavy vehicles.

In Purnea, a gang using drums for smuggling and selling liquor was recently busted.

In Kaimur district again, a man entering Bihar from Uttar Pradesh was caught by police when they found that he had filled liquor in cycle tubes and had them wrapped on his stomach and chest.

A station house officer in Gopalganj district went a step ahead. He started selling liquor in the police station itself. The officer and his deputy were arrested and dismissed from service in October last year.

More recently, the SHO of Motipur police station in Muzaffarpur district was also suspended on similar charges.

In the latest case in Rohtas where the “postal parcel” consignment was seized, excise officials said they would not have suspected anything had they not got a tip-off about the liquor cartons being offloaded.

Dr Anand Kumar, assistant commissioner (excise) in Rohtas said the liquor was made in Goa and was meant to be sold in the state of Arunachal Pradesh.

Since the prohibition came into effect in Bihar, over 15 lakh liters of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) and 8 lakh liters of country made liquor has been seized in raids on over 4 lakh locations. Over 95,000 cases had been registered and 1.30 lakh people have been arrested and sent to jail for violation of the liquor ban.

First Published:
Mar 09, 2019 09:28 IST

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