Even though Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his ‘moralistic’ imposition of prohibition is far from popular in ‘civilized circles’ in Bihar, the police are doggedly doing their duty, we hear.
A police team raided the ‘official residence’ allotted to one Dr. Chandeshwar Choudhary, a retired medical officer of a Primary Health Centre (PHC) at Sagauli in East Champaran, and unearthed 147 bottles of Royal Stag Whiskey on Tuesday, 17th April.
Confirming this, Sagauli police station officer-in-charge Sunil Kumar said the seizure included 147 bottles of Royal Stag, which were kept in the official residence of the former medical officer.
The doctor appears to have got away Scott-free, with the police nabbing the humble care-taker.
“B.K. Singh, who was attached to Gamgarhwa PHC, was the caretaker of the house and ran away from the house after we raided it,” said Sunil Kumar. The Police have made B.K. Singh a ‘named accused’ in an FIR lodged with Sagauli police station.
Royal Stag is a fairly cheap ‘Indian made foreign liquor’ category whiskey, retailing at about Rs 700 a bottle in the pre-prohibition days. The grapevine says that each of the confiscated bottles would have fetched between Rs 1500 and 2000 in so-called ‘dry’ Bihar. Two Thousand Rupees? A smidgen more and you could snaffle a Glenfiddich 12 year old Single malt in the saner regions of India. It’s a scandal that such an inferior tipple is sold at the price of better blends. What’s more, the haul was worth over two lakhs twenty thousand rupees on the black market!
Royal stag, would disagree with that analysis, though: “Royal Stag is Pernod Ricard India’s leading brand and the Group’s largest by volume. Positioned as a premium whisky, the brand’s slogan is: “It’s your life, make it large.”
Royal Stag was created in 1995 from a blend of Indian spirits and imported Scottish malt. The first brand in India without artificial flavouring, it has become a key whisky and a benchmark among the country’s power brands. In 2012/13, Royal Stag sold 14.3 million cases and continues to grow.
In neighbouring West Champaran, Mainatard police on Tuesday arrested two persons near West Pakihwa Primary School with 44 bottles of Nepal made liquor.
Madan Mohan Tiwari, senior Congress leader and Bettiah MLA, has again accused the Nitish Kumar government of adopting double standards in ‘tackling’ the liquor mafia.
“Those who have been arrested are mere small fry. The fat ones operate the liquor business under full protection of the government machinery,” he said.