With commoners giving up consuming alcohol in Bihar in the aftermath of the state government imposing a total ban on sale and consumption of liquor in the state in 2016, the rats of the state have seemed to have taken up the mantle!
Two hundred cans of confiscated beer kept in the excise department storeroom in Bihar’s Kaimur district have been found emptied with holes on their aluminium-and-steel top. The startling revelation came to light on Monday when the authorities in Kaimur district opened the storeroom to destroy the illegal liquor stocks seized during the raids in the past two years. As the matter flared up the police shrugged off the blame on the rodents.
Bhabhua Sub Divisional Magistrate, (SDM) Kumari Anupama Singh said, “Well this is the handiwork of the rats. Prima facie it appears the rats made holes into the beer caps with their sharp teeth to sip alcohol. We can say with certainty since all the seized cartons were found to be still safely packed but only the alcohol missing from the cans.”
Local excise superintendent Pradeep Kumar said, that the rodents might have destroyed alcohol worth about Rs. 10,000. As per reports, a total of 11,584 bottles of liquor were stored in the storeroom.
However, retired Bihar chief secretary of undivided Bihar and Jharkhand, VS Dubey claimed that it’s not the rat but the policemen who are “either drinking or selling confiscated liquor”. He suspected a big fraud behind the entire situation.
This is, however, not the first time the blame for missing alcohol and narcotics has been shipped on to ‘drunkard rodents’.
In August 2018, the Supreme Court had taken a dig at law enforcement agencies, mainly the police for not taking any steps to prevent smuggling out of crores worth of seized narcotics from police malkhanas across the country. That time too, the police had maintained that 100s of kgs of heroin, which had disappeared from the police malkhanas had been consumed by the rats.
Last year in May, officials in Patna blamed rats for drinking several lakh litres of alcohol in police malkhanas. In yet another such shocking incident, rats were reported of consuming 45 kgs of weed that was in possession with Dhandbad police, Jharkhand last year.
Similarly, in another case reported from Maharashtra, rodents consumed 34 kg of drugs from customs godown at Sewri in Maharashtra. According to reports, the contraband that went missing from the godown in Sewri in 2014 was worth Rs 3.4 crore in the international market.