As a ban on production and sale of spiked liquor comes into force on April 1 in Bihar, chief minister Nitish Kumar sought cooperation from the public to enforce it, and said his government was considering introducing the death penalty for those found guilty of manufacturing hooch.
Kumar especially appealed to women in implementing the phased ban, stating that it was not an easy decision to enforce.
“Once successful in enforcing ban, including plugging of home delivery, it will not only increase Bihar’s credibility but also trigger similar demand for ban in other states,” he said, adding the government had considered all aspects of the ban.
Other measures like introducing e-locks for containers transporting liquor through the state to check pilferage will also be put in place. However, the ‘home delivery’ aspect of the problem can only be tackled with public support, Kumar said, saying the government would bring in tougher laws, launch awareness campaigns and bolster public participation.
“IMFL (Indian manufactured foreign liquor) sale is being taken over by Bihar State Beverages Corporation to ensure quick and effective imposition of complete ban in the next phase,” he said.
“In order to make it a public campaign, students are getting signed pledges from parents. Women are already taking men to de-addiction centres in various districts for counselling and getting medicines prescribed, if need be, to deal with the habit.”
Kumar was speaking at the inaugural ceremony of Bihar Diwas where he also called on the Bihari pride for a better future. Talking about the rich heritage of the state, he said Bihar’s present day achievements were no less inspiring. “(The) whole of Bihar is a live archaeological site. If proper excavations are carried out it would add many new chapters to history of the country… It’s time to unearth Bihar’s heritage and legacy,” he said.
With plans to christen the upcoming International Convention Centre after King Ashoka, the chief minister said the government was planning for a developed Bihar through seven actionable key resolves.