Over 40,000 people have been arrested since Bihar went dry 10 months ago (File photo)
Nitish Kumar's liquor ban in Bihar is being openly defied by a group that the police admit are quite out of their control. A vast amount of seized alcohol stored in police stations is apparently being consumed by rats, or so claim policemen.
A senior police officer in Patna, Manu Maharaj, investigated the claim but when he landed at the Police lines on a surprise check last night, the offenders were more human than he expected.
Nirmal Singh and Shamsher Khan were allegedly heavily drunk when they were arrested. Nirmal Singh, a constable, hit out at Mr Maharaj and accused him of framing him for taking up with him problems of the police force.
For some policemen, rats may have made for a convenient reason for the vanishing alcohol. Still, the state police have ordered an investigation.
"We have asked the Patna zonal Inspector General to inquire into the matter. Based on his findings, the state police headquarters will initiate further action," senior officer SK Singhal was quoted as telling the Press Trust of India.
Over 9 lakh litres of Indian and foreign alcohol seized in raids have reportedly been swilled by rats in the dingy stores of police stations. Concerns were reportedly raised at a recent crime meeting of the state police.
Over 40,000 people have been arrested since Bihar went dry 10 months ago, conforming to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's promise to a group of women while he was campaigning for the state election in 2015.
Excise and Prohibition Minister Abdul Jalil Mastan has said that state agencies have been asked to be tough on those who defy the ban.
Nitish Kumar has called prohibition a roaring success in his state and attributed to it many positive outcomes like reduced crime, communal harmony and better eating habits.
(With inputs from PTI)