Patna: A joint police team from three districts on Sunday launched a crackdown against illicit liquor brewing in Rohtas district, a day after the death of five men at Danwar and Englishpur villages on Saturday.
The special police team, comprising personnel from Rohtas, Arwal and Bhojpur districts carried out raids and destroyed over 500 litres of country liquor seized from different illegal brewing units along Sone river in Rohtas district. One Munna Singh, who was allegedly involved in the illegal trade, was also arrested.
The raids were conducted in areas falling under the jurisdiction of Rohtas, Darihat, Tilauthu, Dehri-on-Sone, Amjour and Dalmianagar police stations. The operation was launched on the basis of intelligence inputs, which had identified the villages being used for liquor brewing. However, those involved in the trade managed to escape.
Inspector-general (IG) of Patna zone Nayyar Hasnain Khan said the special drive would continue for three days in the districts falling under the Patna police zone. The superintendents of police and the deputy inspectors-general would monitor the operation.
Khan revealed that three arrests has been made in connection with the Danwar hooch tragedy. But prime accused Shashi Singh, Antim Lal Singh and Nathuni Singh are absconding. Several bottles of Indian-made foreign liquor were seized from Antim Lal’s house on Saturday. The IG said the district administration had sealed Antim Lal’s house. “A grocery shop owned by Shashi at Danwar village was also sealed. The police arrested one Shivji Singh from the village for his involvement in the illegal trade,” Khan told The Telegraph after returning from Rohtas on Sunday.
The police have taken survivors Ravi Singh, Krishna Singh, Ashok Kumar and Rajendra Rawat into custody for violating the provisions of the Bihar Excise and Prohibition Law, 2016. Under the law, sale, consumption and manufacturing of alcohol are completely banned in Bihar, which was declared dry in April, 2016.
While Danwar residents Dhanji Kumar Singh, Uday Singh, Harihar Singh and Kamlesh Singh died, a resident of Englishpur village, Narendra Singh, also died after consuming suspected spurious liquor. Narendra was stated to be a government school teacher.
IG Khan has directed all SPs and DIGs to review the action taken against liquor smugglers by the SHOs of the police stations falling under their respective jurisdiction on weekly basis and send their reports to the police headquarters. He also warned of stern disciplinary action against erring police personnel.
Chief minister Nitish Kumar ordered a detailed investigation into the deaths in Rohtas on Saturday. Nitish expressed his displeasure at the incident and directed the IG Patna zone to immediately visit the spot and submit a report.
Eight policemen, including the SHO of Kachhwa police station Mukesh Kumar, were suspended. Dharmendra Kumar will replace Mukesh as the new station house officer of Kachhwa police station.
Irked by the action against the eight officers, including SHO Mukesh Kumar, the Bihar Police Association has demanded action against senior police officers, including DSPs and SPs.