New Delhi: He who drinks is not Indian but a mahapaapi, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said after his assembly passed a bill that sought lesser punishment for first-time offenders who flouted the state’s stringent liquor ban.
“He doesn’t listen to the teachings of Gandhi. He is not a Hindustani, an Indian. He is not competent. He is a mahapaapi,” Kumar said.
Kumar said other states have not banned liquor because of revenue from alcohol. “But we gave up Rs 5,000 crore of such earnings. Look at how people are buying vegetables now. Those who wasted money on liquor, can now eat better. Ask the women,” he said.
The chief minister has come under severe opposition attack following several hooch tragedies. The opposition has claimed 60 people died in the last few months of 2021, and that his ban has remained only on paper.
Alliance BJP has accused the police of not imposing the prohibition law strictly, and exploiting it to wrest money from offenders.
The Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United) government banned liquor in 2016.
Ever since, drug use has gone up among young Biharis, ThePrint reported. Heroin, ganja, charas, and intravenous drugs have been the refuge of addicts in the state.
An UDAYA study has found that consumption is higher among rural boys (21 per cent) in Bihar than urban ones (17 per cent). Police in Seemanchal’s districts say petty crimes have also risen, as have the recovery of drugs, phones and cough syrup bottles.