PATNA: The Nitish Kumar-led government’s efforts to enforce total prohibition in Bihar faced an embarrassing moment when a police official told a local court that alcohol was being sold across the state in violation of the stringent law. The official is now facing action for saying on record what has largely been an open secret across Bihar.
Chandrashekhar Prasad Gupta, the station house officer (SHO) of Sikarpur police station, apparently could not resist the temptation of spelling it out when he was in a courtroom in Narkatiaganj last week.
“The police officer expressed his inability to stop the sale of liquor. ‘What can I do when liquor is being sold across the state?’ he asked the judge. When the judge asked him to step up patrolling in the area, he said he did not have enough personnel to even ensure security around banks and jewellery shops in the town,” said a lawyer familiar with the development. The SHO also told the judge that his superior officials had asked him to pay more attention to areas near banks and commercial establishments.
The ACJM then wrote to West Champaran SP, informing him of Gupta’s response and saying it “lowered the dignity of the post he (Gupta) holds”.
The ACJM also asked the SP to make sure sale of liquor stops around the court so that judicial work continues unhindered. “These are serious complaints against the SHO, and we are verifying them. Suitable action will be taken against them,” said the SP.
Despite prohibition, which came in force in Bihar in April 2016, smuggling and clandestine sale of liquor are rampant across the state.
Action has been taken against over 50 police sub-inspectors and assistant sub-inspectors and 46 constables for their slackness in enforcing prohibition.