Patna: Bootlegging is alive and well in spite of the Nithish Kumar Government’s sanctimonious claims that Biharis have meekly accepted teetotaler status. Patna police recently ‘busted’ two liquor smuggling gangs that used to home-deliver liquor in swish sedans marked with “government” and “police” plates. Now, there are bound to be a few ‘well-heeled’ customers shaking in their boots, given the fact that the draconian prohibition laws in Bihar allows police to raid your home and arrest you if you happen to be hoarding the amber liquid!
The police, acting on tip-offs conducted raids at the Mahesh Nagar and Kurji areas of Patliputra police station and at the Indra Nagar area under the Kankerbagh police station. They arrested 16 persons and seized around 165 bottles of booze.
The Patliputra police first raided the Mahesh Nagar area and arrested one Abhishek Kumar while he was on the way to deliver the goods and seized the five bottles of liquor he was carrying.
Abhishek, an MBA , helping to persons known to him to wet their whistles for the past few months. Abhishek, the police say, was in the real estate business for the past year.
Now Abhishek, ratted on Sashi Kumar Singh, a resident of Rajiv Nagar area, who, he said,was the main supplier of the smuggles booze. The Patliputra police then arrested Sashi from Kurji Mor when he was out to deliver liquor.
“Sashi used to home deliver liquor in his Honda Amaze car,” said Naseem Haider, a police officer at Patliputra police station. “Sashi had put ‘Government of India’ plates on the front and rear nameplates.”
Police sources said Sashi is a travel and tour operator and owns half a dozen vehicles.
“I had put ‘Government of India’ plates on my vehicle as the car is given on rent to National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) officials,” Sashi admitted.
As the car was given on rent to NHAI officials who regularly tour outside Bihar, whenever the car travelled out of Bihar Sashi’s, driver used to bring liquor for him which he used to supply to select customers, police sources said.
Apart from Abhishek and Sashi, the police have arrested five more persons and seized 10 bottles of liquor who used to work for them.
The nine-member gang the Kankerbagh police busted with 150 liquor bottles and two cars had a similar modus operandi.
“The gang used to make liquor deliveries in cars,” said Kankerbagh police station house officer (SHO) Ravi Bhushan.
“They had put ‘police’ stickers on the cars they used to supply the liquor in,” the SHO added.
The gang, police sources said, used to bring liquor from Hajipur. The gang had several unemployed youngsters as home delivery boys.