PATNA: A gang of liquor smugglers operating in a village near Bihar capital Patna fired at a police team soon after it arrived to raid the site on Sunday. The policeman also fired back at the smugglers, who managed to flee.
“No policeman was hurt in this exchange of fire. Two liquor traders were arrested for violation of the prohibition law. Two rifles were also recovered at the site. A combing operation is on to arrest the smugglers who escaped,” said Patna Senior SP Manu Maharaj.
Nearly 50 rounds of fire were set off by the policeman at the smugglers in retaliation in the incident near Nanuara village in Masaurhi block, said Rohan Kumar, the station house officer of Dhanrua police station.
The smugglers, he said, had fired as many rounds at the policemen. The raiding police team had arrived in the village after getting tip-off about gathering of the liquor smugglers there.
“It is believed that local villagers had been cooperating with the liquor smugglers to continue and spread their business in the locality even after total prohibition was implemented in the state. Police are investigating to identify such villagers,” said Maharaj.
Police personnel from eight police stations in the area have been deployed in the combing operation to nab the absconding smugglers, said officials.
In Barachatti in Gaya district, a liquor smuggler was arrested on Sunday and at least 1,000 pouches of country liquor were recovered from his possession.
Prohibition Day was observed statewide on Saturday with seminars and awareness marches organised in every district by women, schoolchildren, politicians and academicians. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said in his address at a function in Patna that there was no possibility of a rollback of the prohibition decision.