January 22, 2021 4:01:00 am
Thirteen days after he wrote a letter to his counterparts across the 40 police districts of Bihar about illicit liquor trade being carried out “at all police stations” with the connivance of officials and local public representatives, SP (Prohibition) Rakesh Kumar Sinha was transferred out. The same day, his successor Sanjay Kumar Singh withdrew the letter by Sinha, dated January 6.
Six other IPS officers were transferred on January 19 along with Sinha, who has been moved to the Special Branch. Bihar DGP A K Singhal could not be contacted despite several attempts.
In his letter to the SPs, a copy of which is with The Indian Express, Sinha asked for a probe into the properties owned by constables, sub-inspectors and inspectors of the Excise Department and urged that their mobile phones and those of their relatives be kept under surveillance to monitor connections with liquor mafia. However, Sinha did not name anybody.
“Even though Bihar government has imposed prohibition, liquor sale is being carried out clandestinely under jurisdiction of all police stations with constables, sub-inspectors and inspectors of Excise Department getting bribed,” says the letter. It adds that several “local public representatives have been in illicit liquor trade and the liquor law is openly being violated”.
Sinha said if there was a probe into the “legal and illegal property” of excise constables, sub-inspectors and inspectors, “the government system would be shaken”.
While not directly addressing issues raised by Sinha’s letter, Bihar Education Minister Ashok Kumar Choudhary told The Indian Express: “The CM has already put in place a system of annual declaration of assets by public representatives for transparency. If there is any specific finding by the police about some public representatives, it must be looked into by the competent authority.”
JD(U) spokesperson Rajiv Ranjan Prasad said the party had “no knowledge of this letter”.
“But the state government is committed to taking stringent action against the liquor mafia,” Prasad said.
RJD spokesperson Mrityunjay Tiwari said Sinha’s letter should be taken seriously. “The government must look into the properties owned by excise, police or even local public representatives. We have been saying all along that the prohibition law is an absolute failure”.
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