While the excise department is conducting raids based on information regarding smuggling of liquor from Jharkhand to Bihar, people living on bordering districts of Bihar have adopted novel methods to get alcohol from Jharkhand.
Excise department officials said they were taking steps to control smuggling of liquor from bordering districts to Bihar.
Bihar was in April this year declared a dry state with the Nitish Kumar government imposing a total ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol including India Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) with immediate effect.
Sources said buses and trains have become common means to carry small amounts of liquor to Bihar.
A passenger could carry one or two bottles with them and sell them at a higher price in the neighbouring state. “It is difficult to check each passenger and each family going to Bihar,” said an excise department official.
People have taken up new methods to smuggle liquor from Jharkhand to Bihar across river Ganges in Sahibganj district. Boats made of rubber tubes with small rims are being used for illegally carrying liquor. Cartoons filled with liquor are loaded on the boats and covered with plastic. People sit on both sides of the Ganges with ropes tied to the boat. The person sitting on the Bihar side draws the ropes to his side and unloads the liquor. The one sitting on the Jharkhand side pulls back the boat.
Many people are also coming to bordering districts of Jharkhand including Deoghar and Koderma to spend days drinking alcohol.
“People come in Deoghar to perform puja at Baba Baidyanath temple and then stay back in hotels for a few days to satisfy their thirst for alcohol. The situation is similar in other states neighboring Bihar including Uttar Pradesh and Nepal,” said an excise department official.
“The Koderma police have asked a team of policemen to conduct raids in buses, trains and other places. However, it is difficult to stop people who come to Jharkhand and go back after having drinks at roadside hotels,” said the superintendent of police Kranti Kumar Gadideshi.
“It is very difficult to identify whether people purchasing and consuming alcohol in bordering districts are from Jharkhand or from Bihar,” said deputy commissioner, excise, Gajendra Kumar Singh.
The excise department said it was gathering information about the factories located on the Jharkhand-Bihar border for supply of liquor into Bihar.
After a factory in Deoghar, another factory was found in Dhanwar in Giridih, a bordering district of Jharkhand, on Wednesday.
Several machines, 80 liters of spirit, 15 liters of liquor and a large number of caps of royal stag and officer’s choice were found in the factory.
“The liquor could have been sent anywhere including across the border,” said the officer-incharge of local police station.