Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday directed the top brass of the Bihar administration and field officials to act tough against the liquor Mafiosi, as continued supply of illicit liquor in the state from outside needed to be stopped at any cost.
According to sources, taking cognizance of media reports about rats guzzling down huge quantity of liquor stocked in police stations, an oblique reference to complicity of police officials in letting illegal liquor trade flourish, Kumar said that no one should be spared for defying law in a dry state.
He also called for putting in place a mechanism for periodic monitoring and destruction of seized liquor stocks and confiscation of vehicles, godowns or places used for storing liquor.
This was the first review meeting on prohibition this year at the level of chief minister and lasted for over four hours. In November 2016, Kumar had chaired an all-party meeting after bringing in a new, tougher prohibition law.
The meeting, on Wednesday, was due in the face of relentless opposition attack on tardy implementation of prohibition, which completed one year on April 5 last, continued seizure of truckloads of liquor coming from other states and allegations of its easy availability at premium prices due to alleged complicity of local administration.
“There should be a weekly monitoring to prevent sale and supply of liquor through Mafiosi and they should be nailed, no matter who they are and under whose patronage they operate. Raids should be intensified and intelligence should be developed to get timely information. People in general are happy with prohibition,” said Kumar, adding that enforcing total prohibition was a conscious decision of the government.
The CM also took feedback from DMs and SPs through video conferencing and asked them to increase vigilance and monitoring, as there could be no compromise on prohibition.
Chief secretary Anjani Kumar Singh, DGP PK Thakur, home secretary Amir Subhani, who also has the additional charge of excise department, CM’s principal secretary Chanchal Kumar and other senior officials were present at the meeting.
Citing the provisions in the Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act, 2016, Kumar said there should be proper implementation of the law to create an effective deterrent and accountability should be fixed in case of frequent instances of negligence, slackness or complicity on part of the officials at any level.