A sub-inspector of police was killed and a chowkidar was injured in an encounter with the liquor mafia in Bihar’s Sitamarhi district on Wednesday afternoon. A liquor smuggler was also killed in the incident.
According to reports a police party led by sub-inspector Dinesh Ram went to Kowari village in Majorganj block on the border with Nepal to carry out raids on liquor mafia. The liquor smugglers reportedly opened fire on the police. In the exchange of fire Dinesh Ram, 45, was killed and chowkidar Lalbabu Paswan was injured. A smuggler Ranjan Singh, 35, was also killed during the shootout. The SI was a resident of East Champaran district.
The violent incident took place amidst repeated allegations not only by the opposition parties but even by several NDA leaders that the liquor ban has failed in the state. Total prohibition was imposed in Bihar in April 2016.
Only recently chief minister Nitish Kumar had rubbished all the accusations that the liquor ban had failed in Bihar.
He spoke after six people reportedly died after consuming liquor in Muzaffarpur and Gopalganj districts last week.
On February 15 Nitish Kumar had ordered that any policeman found in an inebriated condition would be dismissed from service.
“Policemen across the state have taken a pledge to stay away from alcohol. If anybody flouts this, he must face disciplinary action and immediate dismissal,” the chief minister said while presiding over a review meeting of department for prohibition and excise.
It needs to be mentioned that smuggling of liquor has increased in the districts bordering Nepal, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and West Bengal. Illegal manufacture of country-made liquor has also witnessed a big jump in dry Bihar.