Patna, Mar 11: Bihar government has intensified its campaign against drinking liquor in public places following announcement of prohibition and more than 5,000 offenders have been arrested across the state.
More than 5,000 people have been arrested so far across the state under the Excise Act, said Abdul Jalil Mastan, Excise and Prohibition Minister. The campaign would be intensified further once the ban comes into effect from April 1, he said.
The Chief Minister had announced that while country-made and spiced liquor would be banned completely from April 1, sale of Indian Made Foreign Liquor would be restricted in towns and municipality areas. The sale would be conducted by state-run Bihar State Beverages Corporation Limited.
Reffering to the Chief Minister's commitment to successfully impose ban on alcohol, Mastan said the Excise department would make a proposal to increase the period of the jail sentence upto 10 years.
Assistant Commissioner of Excise and Prohibition department, Headquarter, Om Prakash Mandal said presently the offenders are jailed for a maximum period of three years on the charge of consuming and selling alcohol in public places in accordance with Excise Act of 1915.
The Assistant Commissioner said a total of 1,839 offenders were arrested in February while 869 have been caught and forwarded to jails in the past 10 days of March.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar recently said the state government would bring the new legislation in the current Budget session of the Assembly with a provision of capital punishment to manufacturers of hooch.