PATNA: In prohibition-bound Bihar, the government’s zeal to prevent people from drinking liquor has taken rodents to a new high. A significant portion of the lakhs of litres of liquor seized during the past one year of prohibition has been consumed by rats in the dingy store rooms of police stations.
The discovery recently came to light during a meeting of police inspectors in Patna district chaired by senior superintendent of police (SSP) Manu Maharaaj. Upon asking the inspectors about the status of the liquor stored at the malkhanas of the police stations, he was informed that more than half of them have been consumed by rodents. Similar situations prevailed at police station store rooms in other districts too, said sources.
With the store rooms at police stations remaining in a perennially shabby condition, they have turned into safe abodes for rats.
The metal caps of the liquor bottles were nibbled-off by the rodents, who then guzzled the contents of the bottles.
Ever since Bihar’s Nitish Kumar-led government imposed a total prohibition in the State in April 2016, nearly 9.15 litres of domestic and Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) have been seized and stored mainly in police stations. Over 45,000 people have been arrested and jailed so far violating the prohibition.
“After learning the scenario, I ordered random breathalyzer tests of police personnel at the police stations. If found drunk, they would face prosecution and may lose their jobs,” said Maharaaj. He also said senior officials in Bihar’s police and excise departments have been apprised of the rodents’ act in order to formulate a policy to deal with the liquor stocked at police stations.
Sources, however, said much of the liquor seized from smugglers have been consumed and sold illegally by police personnel posted at police stations. “The Patna zonal IG has been asked to begin a probe into the matter. The State police headquarters will take suitable action based on the findings of this probe,” said ADGP (headquarters) SK Singhal.