PATNA: Ahead of the first assembly polls in "dry Bihar" amid the COVID 19 pandemic, the syndicates of liquor mafia seem to have become more active in smuggling than ever.
Prohibition was enforced in Bihar on April 5 in 2016 and the state has recorded record seizures of liquor after the announcement of polls to the state assembly.
The Election Commission of India has appointed senior IPS officer of IG-rank Dr Kamal Kishore Singh as the state nodal officer for election expenditure. Singh is monitoring the state-wide drives round the clock from police headquarters in Patna.
A cop of the district, preferring anonymity, said that the liquor seizure during the poll time had baffled the senior officers. "The liquor mafia and peddlers have been more active since the announcement of the polls. Imagine the scale of illegal business they would have carried out on regular days", said an official involved in the raid.
Not just liquor, but a record seizure of unaccounted cash has also been reported by the department. According to official figures obtained by TNIE, more than Rs 15 crore have been seized in Bihar in the last only 24 days compared to the total seizures of Rs.19.9 crore found in a period 59 days during the 2015 polls.
The new numbers even beat that from the time of 2019 the parliamentary elections."A total amount Rs 9.03 crore was seized during the 2019 parliamentary elections in 79 days", the official said.
Similarly, liquor worth more than 4.5 lakhs have been seized in 24 days besides narcotics, gold and silver worth Rs 25.33 crore. During 2015 assembly elections, liquor worth Rs 5.20 lakhs were found in 59 days.
When contacted, Kishore Singh denied to disclose more details of the raid but said that teams of police and other agencies are keeping vigil on the illegal transaction and transportation of cash,liquor and anything across the state with more surveillance in 91 Expenditure Sensitive Constituencies.