Bihar CM Nitish fumes over criticisms of liquor prohibition in Bihar

Topics Nitish Kumar | Bihar | Prohibition

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar | File photo

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday bristled at questions being raised against his highly touted alcohol prohibition drive following some recent instances of violation of the liquor ban.

Addressing a function here as part of Bihar Police Week-2021, Kumar also noted with concern the attack by liquor smugglers on a police party in Sitamarhi district, which claimed the life of a sub-inspector.

He stressed that a full-fledged team should be constituted to conduct anti-liquor drives instead of "ikka- dukka" (a handful) of personnel carrying out such raids.

He also reiterated that stern action will be taken against police and excise department officials if they are found to be violating the prohibition themselves or lax in enforcing the ban that came into force nearly five years ago.

"Altogether 619 personnel and officials are facing departmental action on these counts. FIRs have been lodged against 348, while 186 have been dismissed from service," Kumar said.

In an indirect reference to doubts cast on submissions by leaders of the Congress-RJD combine in the assembly, recently, over the efficacy of imposing a ban on sale and consumption of liquor, the chief minister said, "There are always some instances of transgression. But on this very basis, some people have started questioning the huge step we took."

Asserting that the ban on alcohol was in the interests of society, he invoked Mahatma Gandhi and cited studies conducted by the WHO to highlight the ill effects of liquor consumption.

Defending the stringency of the law which brooks no exceptions, the chief minister also dismissed as "bogus" the demand, from some quarters, for leniency towards declared alcoholics.

"They can go to de-addiction centres" was the curt remark of Kumar who also recalled the promise made by him to the state's women ahead of the 2015 assembly polls which led him to the drastic move upon return to power.

Kumar also spoke about his commitment to improve the police force and pointed towards the personnel now getting better training and equipment, in addition to the improved gender ratio that has followed his government's decision to provide 35 per cent reservations to women.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel