Two Bihar cops arrested for selling seized liquor

Caught red-handed selling liquor from police station

Published - October 04, 2018 06:55 am IST - Patna

In what is perhaps the first ever instance since Bihar became a ‘dry’ State, two policemen were suspended on Wednesday for selling confiscated illegal liquor from the police station premises. Ironically, just a day earlier, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had exhorted the police on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti to implement the new liquor law more effectively.

The two policemen, Station House Officer Lakshmi Narayan Mahto and an Assistant Sub-Inspector posted at Baikunthpur police station in Gopalganj district, were arrested after they were caught red-handed selling liquor from the police station. Locals had alerted senior police officers about the activities of the two policemen. “Instead of destroying the bottles the two policemen had started selling them from the police station itself and got caught,” said Manoj Pandey, a resident of Baikunthpur village.

“They have been arrested. Action against both will be taken according to the prohibition and excise law,” Gopalganj Assistant Superintendent of Police Rashid Zaman told local journalists.

Major transit point

Gopalganj is a district bordering Uttar Pradesh and ever since Bihar was declared a dry State on April 5, 2016, it has become a major transit point for illegal liquor smuggling in the State.

On October 1, a total of 11, 584 beer cans that had been seized and stacked in a warehouse at a police station in Kaimur district were found empty when district administration officials went to destroy them. The local Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Kumari Anupma, had reportedly said that the beer cans seemed to have been destroyed by rats. Earlier in May 2007 too rats were blamed for the loss of more than 9 lakh litres of seized liquor from different police station warehouses in Patna.

Recently, an official of the State Excise and Prohibition department had said that over 16 lakh litres of Indian Made Foreign Liquor and nine lakh litres of country-made liquor have been seized in police raids over the last two and a half years. All seized liquor is stacked in warehouses of police stations and supposed to be destroyed from time to time.

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