Alcohol emergency in ‘totalitarian’ Bihar
Drinking at home will result in the whole family being arrested.
Not informing the police about one’s neighbour storing or consuming liquor in his/her house will land one in jail in Bihar. Apart from this, all the adult members of a family will be arrested if one member is found to be drinking at home. All this is set to become law in Bihar from Tuesday under Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s government. The “ban” is also applicable to toddy and bhang (edible cannabis). Ever since prohibition has been imposed in Bihar in April, an estimated 10,000 people have been arrested on the charge of violating the ban on alcohol.
Bihar Excise Minister Abdul Jalil Mastan told The Sunday Guardian over phone that the state government was going to bring an amendment in the Bihar Excise (Amendment) Act 2016, which would make the neighbours accountable if someone is found to be consuming or keeping alcohol at home. Bihar has banned the consumption and sale of alcohol from April this year. “We are going to bring this amendment on 2 August and all MLAs, cutting across party lines, are in support of this amendment,” said Mastan, a Congress MLA.
Mastan clarified that the neighbours would not face unnecessary harassment because of this new amendment. “If liquor has been banned in Bihar, then what is the logic behind anyone keeping or consuming alcohol? Society has been decaying because of alcohol and crimes are being committed under the influence of alcohol. If the law is not