Bihar has requested the ministry of civil aviation (MoCA) to make provisions for scanning check-in baggage of all incoming passengers at the two airports to check smuggling of liquor into the state.
The state has imposed a complete ban on manufacture, sale and consumption of alcohol including Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) in the state from April 5. The Nitish Kumar government has been leaving no stones unturned to plug the loopholes in the implementation of the decision.
As per the Bihar Excise Act, 2016, possession of liquor may result in 8-10 years imprisonment and fine up to Rs 10 lakh.
“Provisions may be made for scanning of the check-in baggage that comes out at Patna and Gaya airports so that the local CISF (Central Industrial Security Force) personnel is able to detect any illicit liquor being brought to the state through the air route,” Bihar chief secretary Anjani Kumar Singh said in his April 20 letter to MoCA secretary Rajeev Nayan Choubey.
Singh said the state government was willing to extend infrastructure facilities, like baggage X-ray screening machines, at the Patna and Gaya airports to enable the CISF to speedily scan incoming cabin baggage or cargo.
He also requested that the two airports be advised to put up a notice board at their exit points wherein incoming passengers were suitably warned that carrying liquor into the state is an offence.
Senior officers related to airport security said security agencies do not screen incoming passengers at airports and at best it is the responsibility of the customs officials.
“That (to check for liquor) is not the mandate of the CISF. It is for preventing and countering any unlawful interference in civil aviation. To check for other things is the job of other agencies like the customs or the narcotics control bureau, etc,” officiating head of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security BB Dash told Hindustan Times.