Kids with Backpacks =Bootlegging suspects in Bihar

Kids with Backpacks =Bootlegging suspects in Bihar

Patna: Even as more evidence surfaces that in spite of draconian laws, Nitish Kumar’s  much touted prohibition is neither popular nor effective, youngsters carrying backpacks are going to face random checks by policemen. So much for privacy and dignity of private citizens!

Every kid with a backpack in Bihar :Potential suspect for bootlegging?

On Sunday, cops nabbed  an engineering graduate for bootlegging in the Patliputra Colony area. Once again this exposed how people will go to any lengths to defy the ban on liquor.

Thanks to prohibition, youngsters are being roped in by liquor smugglers, and these students are risking one hell of a jail term. Patliputra police nabbed twenty-five year old Indrajeet Kumar) from the Nehru Nagar locality early Sunday morning (July 1) when he was  going to deliver liquor to customers, say local reports.

“When the police searched his bag we recovered three liquor bottles, but the youth was adamant on not accepting that the liquor belonged to him. He was speaking fluently in English, and telling us that he is an engineering graduate preparing for the civil service examination,” said Patliputra police station house officer (SHO) T.N. Tiwari to the local media.

“The youth said that he had connections with eminent persons including senior police officers.” The cops took Indrajeet to his residence in the Patliputra Colony area and recovered 41  bottles of liquor from his SUV.

The arrest isn’t in isolation. Last month, the SK Puri police nabbed six youths, who were preparing for competitive examinations, for ferrying alcohol. The students, aged between 20 and 25 years, were trying to earn a quick buck.

“The students are second or third level of agents involved in illegal liquor supply,” said a senior police officer.

“The first levels  are big bootleggers who bring huge liquor consignments from neighbouring states and stock them outside the city. The second level is those who bring in the liquor to the capital in small amounts. These are mainly those running some business such as shops or garages, and liquor smuggling is a side business for them. The agents have the numbers of clients to whom liquor is to be delivered. They use students for delivering the liquor. A courier gets Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 per bottle for supplying the liquor, depending upon the brand and size.”

In the SK Puri case, the six students couriered the liquor from a departmental store owner in the Shivpuri area.

“We have asked SHOs to focus on students living at lodges or near coaching institutes, and to check such students carrying bags,” said Patna superintendent of police (central) D. Amarkesh. ” We have nabbed  students involved in illegal liquor supply.”

The cops are also carrying out special drives at railway stations and bus stands to keep a check on youngsters carrying bags. So youngsters, there’s more harassment for you. You may be asked to spill the contents of your bags by any cop , at any time, if what the media says can be trusted. All in the name of curbing alcohol supply!

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar should apply his mind as to why people, even though they may face huge fines, non-bailable charges, prison sentences, are still risking their lives and reputations  over booze? How many more youngsters will be thrown into jail before he realizes that there’s something fundamentally wrong with the way the law is being implemented?

This was published in The Telegraph, a Calcutta newspaper

Just the other day, the media reported that locals, tried to scrape up whatever liquor could be found after a crusher smashed illegal liquor bottles in Buxar!  That’s a joke.

The cat and mouse games over prohibition continue, and in the meanwhile, its getting clearer that the bootleg brigade is winning.

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