With the Bihar government’s liquor ban coming into effect, liquor suppliers and consumers have found innovative ways to bring the spirit into the state.
According to police, a person posing as a patient and another as his attendant were held on Thursday with six bottles of India-Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) which they were allegedly transporting to Purnea in an ambulance. The ambulance driver too was nabbed. The accused were coming from Siliguri in West Bengal and had got passage at every busy intersection till police smelled a rat and nabbed them.
Some reports also claimed that some people were transporting liquor bottles on local trains running between Gaya and Koderma in Jharkhand by hiding them in milk containers.
The hiding places for liquor are no less innovative. Madhubani police has recovered 51 bottles from a toilet at Jhanjharpur on Thursday, while Vaishali police recovered liquor hidden in a drum at a canal at Katahara. A raid at a house at Pachgachhia yielded liquor worth Rs 6 lakh.
Bihar police have conducted about 700 raids by Friday evening and seized about 15,000 litres of desi liquor and 2,500 litres of IMFL so far. As many as 970 people have been sent to jail so far under provisions of the liquor law.
Sources in the Bihar excise department said that the Uttar Pradesh excise body had informed them that liquor sale in Chadauli district, bordering the Kaimur district of Bihar, has seen a jump by at least Rs 2 lakh over the past few days. There are also reports that people from Bihar are crossing over to Nepal to consume liquor.
So far, over 600 people suffering from withdrawal symptoms have visited de-addiction centres. Patna DM Sanjay Kumar Agrawal said, “We now have a 30-bed deaddiction centre because of the increasing number of patients.” Other districts, however, are running 10-bed centres.
Most of these people complain of body ache, drowsiness and convulsions after they stopped drinking in the wake of the ban, sources said.
A liquor addict from Nalanda said: “I got some relief after being administered medicines at the centre, but there is no urge to work. I have been drinking for the past 14 years.”
A resident of Shastri Nagar in Patna said that he used a deaddiction drug but it was “not helping”.