Patna, Jan 21: Hundreds of thousands of people across Bihar formed a human chain on Saturday to support the state government's prohibition policy, with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar claiming participation of more than three crore people in the record endeavour.
Nitish Kumar, Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad, and leaders of the Congress and opposition BJP participated in the human chain.
"More than three crore people participated in forming the chain that stretched for 11,400 km; it is more than expected. Huge participation of people made it clear that they support prohibition," a visibly upbeat Nitish Kumar told the media here.
He said participation of women in large numbers was remarkable. "At several places, I was informed by officials, people made double human chains due to gathering of more people." Bihar Chief Secretary Anjani Kumar Singh claimed the "world's longest human chain of over 11,000 km" was formed from 12.15 p.m. to 1 p.m. The previous record is of a 1,050 km human chain in Bangladesh in early 2000.
MPs, MLAs, party workers of both the ruling Grand Alliance of Janata Dal-United, RJD and the Congress as well as opposition Bharatiya Janata Party and Lok Janshakti Party held each other's hands to express support for prohibition.
Three satellites, including one foreign and two of Indian Space Research Organisation, four aircraft, two helicopters and 40 drones were used to obtain images of the human chain, officials said. According to officials, hundreds of people stood in queues to form a map of Bihar at the Gandhi Maidan in Patna.
A picture of a liquor bottle with a cross sign was drawn in the middle of the map to give the message against alcohol consumption. Nearly 20 million people were expected to join hands across the state for the chain, the officials added. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar imposed the liquor ban in the state on April 5, 2016.