Post-prohibition, Muzaffarpur seems to have emerged as a den of illegal liquor trade. The data provided by police suggest that since April, 27,000 litres of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) have been seized in the district and 188 cases have been lodged in the district for breaking the law.
Seizures in the last three days are enough to suggest that liquor mafias are running business without any fear of police despite stringent prohibition laws.
Excise officials and police department recovered nearly 425 cartons of IMFL — being transported from Haryana late on Thursday — from two locations. Officials seized 385 cartons from the hideouts of notorious gangsters Babua don alias Ajay Jha at Mohammadpur Kothi, while 35 cartons were recovered from a van on national highway 57 at Kanhara Chauk as the van overturned after an accident on Friday. Locals looted over 150 cartons of the consignment from the spot, which could not be recovered.
However, officials are denying any laxity on their part in taking action against these traders. They said appropriate action was being taken against the guilty.
“This is why the liquor has been recovered in such a huge quantity,” said excise superintendent Kumar Amit. “We are now ready to confiscate 15 buildings of illegal traders and will ensure those arrested on charges of smuggling are jailed,” he said.
He, however, refused to comment on the unchecked transportation of consignments from Haryana. Senior superintendent of police Vivek Kumar said it was difficult to check every vehicle on NHs, passing through three states due to heavy traffic.
Ironically, these consignments pass through over 20 police stations, six excise check posts and three other check posts — set up to collect revenue by the National Highway Authority of India —before safely reaching the core areas of the state without getting caught.
Inspector general of Tirhut Sunil Kumar, under whose jurisdiction the territory lies, said he would direct the police to enhance security checks in Muzaffarpur, East Champaran and Gopalganj.