Patna/Muzaffarpur In another embarrassment to the government, an assistant sub-inspector (ASI) of police was arrested in an inebriated condition while trying to create ruckus at a marriage ceremony in Muzaffarpur, 70 km north of Patna, early on Tuesday.
ASI Vishwajit Tiwari was remanded to 14-day judicial custody after being produced before chief judicial magistrate on Tuesday.
Tiwari was arrested when he was being abusive at a marriage ceremony, which was being solemnized at a stone throw’s distance from the Karja police station, where he was posted.
Interestingly, cops at the Karja police station initially refused to take cognizance when people complained to them. It was only when they escalated the matter to senior superintendent of police (SSP) Vivek Kumar, who directed the station house officer (SHO) to arrest the deviant cop.
This is the second incident in the district of a cop being arrested under the state’s prohibition law.
Earlier, Rameshwar Singh, SHO of Kazi Mohammadpur police station, was arrested in an inebriated condition on May 4. He, too, was remanded to 14 days judicial custody.
Confirming the arrest, SSP Kumar said, “Tiwari was initially detained and subjected to breathalyzer test. He was placed under suspension immediately after his medical tests confirmed that he had consumed liquor.
“He may lose his job if charges framed against him under the new prohibition law are found true,” added Kumar.
Tiwari’s arrest came two days before chief minister Nitish Kumar went back to the drawing board on Wednesday evening to plug gaps in the state’s prohibition law.
The law has, of late, come under strident opposition attack amid unconfirmed reports that rodents guzzled 9 lakh litres of the 16 lakh litres alcohol, which the government had seized and kept at police stations.
Though the police have dismissed the allegation, the denial has not done enough to change public perception that the government was floundering in enforcement of the prohibition law.
To make matters worse, six cops have so far been either arrested or suspended on charges of consuming alcohol. Many believe, this explains the ‘theory’ of rodents consuming liquor in Bihar.
As stories of ‘tipsy’ rodents began floating around, district administration in Nalanda and Patna destroyed huge quantities of seized liquor during the last two days. In doing so, they also invoked the provision to confiscate vehicles used to transport illegal liquor, existent in the Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act, 2016. The government would now initiate steps to auction all such seized vehicles.
As the government tries to work out an effective strategy to nip the inter-state racket in its bud by targeting the big fish, the bigger challenge for it is on the legal front. Of the 48,000 arrests under the prohibition law since it came into existence on April 1, 2016, only 3,000 are now in jail, a fact inspector general (prisons) Anand Kishor accepted. Others have been enlarged on bail.
The fact that liquor, despite the ban, is being seized with disconcerting frequency is indication enough that it was still available in dry Bihar. The stringent prohibition law, with provision to book offenders under the crime control act — it allows authorities to detain a person under suspicion — imposing community fine and confiscating property, have not been able to prove effective deterrent for those who enjoy patronage from the powers that be.
STRINGENT Officials say cop may lose job if charges framed against him under new prohibition law are found true
Tiwari was arrested when he was being abusive at a marriage ceremony being solemnized at a stone throw’s distance from Karja police station, where he was posted