Nitish Kumar asks women to destroy 'bhattis' after April 1

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday exhorted women not to hesitate in destroying the country liquor manufacturing units after April 1, the day prohibition on country liquor will come into force in Bihar.

PTI| Updated: Jan 21, 2016, 19:22 PM IST

Patna: Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday exhorted women not to hesitate in destroying the country liquor manufacturing units after April 1, the day prohibition on country liquor will come into force in Bihar.

"Do not hesitate to destroy 'bhattis' (manufacturing units of country liquor) if need arises and complaint to the call centre," Kumar said while launching a campaign to make prohibition a mass movement in the state.

The Chief minister said a designated cell would be set up in Patna for strict monitoring of prohibition decision and its telephone numbers would be advertised so that citizens could inform, if they see illegal trade in liquor after prohibition comes into force.

Urging women to make the liquor ban in Bihar a mass movement, Kumar said he decided to go for it to fulfil his poll promise that if he returned to power, their wish to stop sale of liquor which ruins families would be fulfilled. Prohibition will be imposed in Bihar in phases as part of which there would be a total ban on country liquor from April 1, Kumar said. However, India Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) would be available in municipal and town council areas at limited government outlets run by Bihar State Beverages Corporation Limited, which operates under the state excise department.

"After six months, sale of IMFL will also be stopped and there will be a complete ban on liquor," he said. On the criticism by opposition on rationale in allowing sale of IMFL while banning country liquor from April 1, 2016, Kumar said this decision has been taken to make the plan practical and implementable. In an apparent dig at states where prohibition is in place, Kumar said, "We don't want to go like them where there is prohibition on liquor but alcohol is available at home on payment secretly."

Bihar government has written to neighbouring states requesting them to order strict vigil on bordering districts to ensure illegal transportation of liquor to Bihar do not take place after April 1, 2016, he said.

Special care would also be taken on porous Bihar-Nepal border to check illegal trade of alcohol. Kumar asked state police chief P K Thakur, who was present at the programme, to ensure that police extend all assistance in enforcing the ban on liquor. "Its known that no illegal trade of manufacturing hooch can take place without the knowledge of the police station. Hence, police have a special role to put an end to this surreptitious trade," he added.