Bihar: Bootleggers use ambulance to smuggle liquor


Patna: Bootleggers have gotten innovative while smuggling alcohol into “dry” Bihar. The state imposed a total prohibition, banning the sale, consumption and manufacture of liquor three years ago.

On Friday, police seized an ambulance that was transporting 33 cartons of foreign liquor, sirens blaring and with the emergency light on, in a bid to mislead cops. The incident took place in Patna, the capital city of Bihar.

Police received a tip-off that a huge consignment of liquor was being supplied in the Raja Bazar area of the state capital through an ambulance. A team of police put a barrier on the road and began checking vehicles passing through the route in the wee hours of Friday.

However, as soon as the ambulance driver saw the police checking vehicles, he switched on the siren and asked other vehicles to give way saying the condition of the patient was critical. However, when the police checked inside the vehicle, they found no one inside.

Finally when they removed the bed sheet from the back seat where the patient was believed to have been laid, police found as many as 33 cartons of foreign liquor. The cartons had been placed in such a position that they gave an impression of a patient lying on the seat. Each bottle contained 750ml of liquor.

The police arrested the driver, and based on his testimony, the police recovered 15 cartons of liquor from the house of a smuggler.

In March, police seized a container truck with Dak Parcel written on it in bold letters. However, when the police checked, they stumbled upon 370 cartons of liquor.

Similarly, in Kaimur district, police busted a gang that had been smuggling liquor in tubes used in tyres of big vehicles. Another man was caught filling liquor in cycle tubes and wrapping them around his stomach and chest.

In Gopalganj district, the station house officer was arrested for selling liquor from his police station. He had converted his official residence into a virtual storeroom.

In the initial days of the liquor ban, the police found a gang that was running an illegal business from a Hindu temple in the Munger district. The gang would store liquor bottles in a bunker dug inside the temple dedicated to the deity Durga and then stealthily supply alcohol to clients.

The ingenious mind of criminals was on display when police arrested two people who were using a cash van bearing the sticker of a nationalised bank to transport liquor. The incident took place in the Darbhnaga district.

The most interesting incident took place in Patna where the police arrested a man identified as Avinah Kumar alias Monika Kumari who used to run the liquor business dressed up as woman. He would dress up as woman, wearing saris, a bindi, jewellery, eyeliner and glossy lipstick and did his business with ease.

As per an official report, more than 3 million litres of liquor have been seized during raids conducted in the aftermath of prohibition. Apart from this, 130,000 people have also been arrested and sent to jail for violating the liquor ban.



Though the Monsoon has arrived long back over Bihar and Jharkhand, due to the absence of any significant weather systems, Monsoon remained deficit over these states. Only scattered rains were observed over a few places.

At present, a Cyclonic Circulation is lying over southeast Uttar Pradesh and adjoining Madhya Pradesh. Also, a trough is extending from Northwest India to Northwest Bay of Bengal across Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand.

These two systems will act as a catalyst and enhance the rainfall activities over Bihar and Jharkhand. We expect moderate rains over most of the places with few heavy spells during the next 24 hours. As a Trough is likely to shift further North, rainfall activity would cover most parts of Bihar and then the heavy rains might intensify. As per our experts, these heavy rains would continue over Bihar till July 11. Jharkhand too would receive moderate to heavy rains during the next three to four days. Thereafter, rainfall will decrease over the southern part but light to moderate rains will continue. Places like Supaul, Purnia, Araria, Patna, Gaya, Katihar, Aurangabad, Rohtas, Bhojpur, Begusarai, Munger, Nalanda, Buxar, etc are likely to be impacted by heavy to very heavy Monsoon rains in the next 24 hours.

This will be the first long spell after the initiation of Monsoon and the rains are likely to pay visit most parts of the states. Till date, for the Monsoon season, Bihar is rain deficit by 49% while Jharkhand is deficit by 44%. There are chances that with these hefty rains, deficiency levels might get recovered with a good percentage.

Bihar police save man from being lynched by cow vigilantes


Police in Bihar’s Bhabua town, 200 km Southwest of the capital Patna saved a truck driver, who was carrying animal bones in his vehicle, from being lynched by cow vigilantes on Wednesday evening, officials said.

The incident happened at 8 pm on Wednesday on the western outskirts of Bhabua when at least 100 vigilantes chased the truck on motorcycles alleging the driver was transporting beef and cow skin in his truck. The truck had started from Babura village in Bhabua district and was bound for Gujarat.

The mob was led by Uttam Patel, a self-styled state president of the youth wing of Hindu Samaj, police said. The men dragged the driver out of the truck, held him captive and assaulted him at a place just a few hundred yards from the residence of the superintendent of police (SP), they said.

The driver told the mob he was carrying animal bones in his truck but the men did not stop their assault. They also damaged the truck.

“A police team rushed to the spot within a few minutes and rescued the driver from being lynched,” SP Dilnawaz Ahmad said.

Uttam Patel and his supporters opposed the police action and asked them to hand over the driver to them. They threatened the police officer that he would be removed from service and would have to face dire consequences.

Additional police force and riot control vehicles were rushed from police lines under sub-divisional police officer Ajay Prasad as the situation worsened. Patel was later arrested.

Patel and about 60 of his supporters were booked for the attack on the driver, threatening police and obstructing government officers on duty. Patel and the driver were sent to jail on Thursday.

Police found animal bones loaded on the truck and seized it. The driver Abu Hasan, a resident of Majhwaliya village of Chapra district, could not show documents for the transportation of the bones.

However, the man who had hired the truck for transporting the bones to a factory in Gujarat appeared on Thursday evening and showed a valid license issued by the government for the purpose, SP Ahmad said.

Police said Patel is involved in 11 cases of extortion, theft and communal violence in the district and police had also taken action against him under Bihar Crime Control Act.

He was earlier arrested and sent to jail on December 7, 2018, when he had caught a man with beef at Bhabua and blocked the road demanding a check on illegal slaughterhouses at Babura, a village adjacent to the district headquarters town, SP Ahmad said.

Patna court grants Rahul Gandhi bail in defamation suit filed by Bihar Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi


Rahul Gandhi on Saturday appeared in the court of additional chief judicial magistrate here and pleaded ‘not guilty’ in a defamation case filed by Bihar’s deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi.

Gandhi was granted bail on two sureties of Rs 10,000 each.

Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi had on April 18 filed a defamation case against Gandhi, alleging that he had made defamatory remarks against those having the surname of Modi. In the case, Modi referred the statement of Gandhi at a public meeting in Kolar (Karnataka) on April 13 and found it offensive and derogatory.

Pleading on Gandhi’s behalf in the court of Kumar Gunjan, his counsel, AN Singh and Sanjay Pandey argued that the allegations levelled against the Congress leader was false. Modi’s lawyers, however, countered the arguments and appealed to the court not to grant bail and start the trial of the case.

“Whoever is raising his voice in the country against the Modi government, against the BJP-RSS, he is targeted through court cases. But my fight will continue,” Gandhi told reporters before leaving the court premises.

To a query, he said the voice of people of the country was being suppressed. “My struggle to protect the constitution and the rights of farmers and labourers would continue relentlessly,” he said.

This was the first visit of Gandhi to Patna after he declared his decision to step down as the Congress president after his party’s crushing defeat in the Lok Sabha elections. A large number of party leaders and workers, including AiCC in-charge Shaktisinh Gohil, BPCC president Madan Mohan Jha, former BPCC chief Anil Sharma received Gandhi at the airport.

Gandhi arrived here on a service flight and had a brief conversation with senior party leaders at the state hanger, before heading for the court. He returned to Delhi by another service flight.

Hampi to be developed as iconic tourist destination


BENGALURU: Hampi, a popular tourist destination, will soon be developed into a world-class tourism destination with improved facilities for visitors. It has been listed as an ‘iconic site’ along with 16 others, including the Taj Mahal, Kumarakom, Kaziranga, Khajuraho, Ajanta and Elora, which will be taken up for development. It is the only site in Karnataka which figures in the list.

The announcement was made in the Union Budget proposals for 2019-20, presented by Union Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday. Although Rs 1,378.53 crore has been allocated for building tourism infrastructure, the cost and funding pattern for developing the iconic sites are yet to be worked out.
The Union tourism ministry has been working on the list for more than a year. Officials of the ministry and the state tourism department have been holding a series of meetings with experts to prepare a master plan on the way forward. As a model site, the destination will be a one-stop destination in a combination of infrastructure and soft skills, said a tourism department official. 

THE list has been prepared keeping in mind the cultural importance, heritage value and tourism potential. Sites have been chosen as they are the most do-able places and popular, where any development works taken up will immediately attract attention and increase footfall.

Hampi is listed for its size, continuous findings and promising economic value. Also called the ‘City of Ruins’, it has been listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and is well protected by the state and central Archaeological Departments.

Based on the success of the Hampi plan, the state government plans to replicate the model at other important tourist sites. “After Hampi, work will be taken up at Pattadakal on the same lines, which is also a UNESCO-listed site, followed by the clusters of Badami and Aihole. The forts of Vijayapura, Kalaburgi and Bidar also show promise,” the official said.

The 17 sites listed are popular on the tourist circuit, but a lot more can be done. To become world-class destinations, the place should be well connected by air, rail and road. There should be good signages to guide tourists around the city and the sites. Well-trained guides, interpretation centres and sufficient literature giving all details should be available. Most importantly, there should be proper facilities in place for clean restrooms and restaurants.

Iconic Tourist Sites
Hampi (Karnataka), Taj Mahal, Fathepur Sikri (Uttar Pradesh), Ajanta and Ellora (M’rashtra), Humayun’s Tomb, Qutub Minar, Red Fort (Delhi), Colva Beach (Goa), Amer Fort (Rajasthan), Somnath, Dholavira (Gujarat), Khajuraho (MP), Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu), Kaziranga (Assam), Kumarakom (Kerala)and Mahabodhi Temple (Bihar)

Bihar: PMCH doctors on strike, health services crippled


Health services at the Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) here have crippled with juniors doctors on strike since Friday.

According to agitating doctors, they have to strike the work after five students in the Department of Orthopaedic were failed in an examination.

They have also alleged that they were under pressure from the senior of the department to prescribe the medicines of one particular company.

“We are trying to resolve the issue with the junior doctors. Hopefully, the strike will end soon. We have also written to the District Civil Surgeon to send more manpower. We hope the situation is resolved by tomorrow,” said PMCH Superintendent Dr Rajeev Ranjan Prasad.

“Five students were failed as we had requested that patients should be prescribed medicines provided by the government or cheaper medicines,” said Vikas, a junior doctor.

Dr Prasad said: “The hospital administration has formed a three-member committee to look into the matter raised by the agitating doctors.”

Due to strike, patients are suffering like anything. Vijay, who had brought his relative to the PMCH for treatment, said: “My patient has suffered a severe brain injury. We are being asked to go to the AIIMS for treatment.”

PMCH has a daily intake of 3000 patients and on an average 70 surgeries are performed in the hospital every day.

Inter-state gang of gold robbers busted in Bihar, firearms, hemp recovered


PATNA: Bihar police Sunday busted an interstate gang of gold-robbers wanted for several heists in Delhi, West Bengal, Bihar, Gujarat and several other states.

After a month of electronic survillance, the police arrested two of the gang members from Vaishali district with a stock of illegal firearms and bundles of hemp worth Rs 3 lakh.

According to Superintendent of Police (SP), Vaishali, M S Dhillon said, “Mohhamad Mehraz, 45, the kingpin of interstate active gang of professional gold robbers, and one of his accomplices identified as Indrajeet Kumar were arrested from their hideout near Jaduha in Hajipur Town. They had come to Bihar to organise other gang members and conduct gold heists. The had also planned a loot Muthoot Gold Finance company in Surat where they were staying temporarily.”

The most shocking fact that came to the fore during initial interrogation was that Mohhamed Mehraz has no permanent address and has been carrying a fake Adhaar card for a while.

The police said that Meharaz was involved in many gold heists in Delhi, West Bengal and in several other states. He along with his some accomplices had sold gold jewellery worth Rs 20 lakh in Kolkata after looting gold at a jewellery shop in hajipur.

Dhillon said the modus operandi of the jewellery heists was to reach SUV was being used to reach the shops masqueranding as bonafide customers.

“Each of the members of this busted inter state gang of gold robbers has been commiting crimes suitably dressed like an affluent customer. After seeing gold, diamond and silver made jewellery , they suddenly used to take the staff and the owner of shops captive at gun points”, said the police.

Free tutorials by govt teachers for poor kids, Bihar village shows the way


A routine visit by a government official to a poor village inhabited by Mahadalits in Vaishali district a year ago to promote toilets has brought about a silent revolution there, with children being given free tutorials by government school teachers and their parents shunning liquor to secure future of their children.

The village, Sonodih village under Goraul block in Vaishali district, is inhabited by Musahars and Paswans, who are mostly daily wage labourers, hardly having any land for cultivation.

“A year ago, on direction by the block development officer (BDO) Premraj, when I visited ward number 4 of Sonodih village to conduct a survey of open defecation, people of the locality started complaining that they were not given money to build toilets. I assured them that toilets would be built,” said block education officer (BEO), Goraul, Sushil Kumar.

“Apart from building toilets, we also decided to open an evening tutorial centre, which was set up a few months back,” he said.

“Most of the residents have now built toilets and no more defecate in the open. Besides Rs 12,000 provided by the government, they also added their own money to construct good toilets,” said the BDO.

For the tutorial classes, teachers working in nearby government schools volunteered. “Shankar Paswan, former ward member, chipped in by giving a portion of his house to set up the evening tutorial classes. Initially, the students sat on bare floor. However, later, some people donated a cotton rug for the children to sit,” said Dharmendra Kumar, who is a block resource person and also a teacher at middle school, Goraul. Kumar also takes classes at the centre.

“The students, who earlier used to loiter around, have developed the habit of studying in the evening after school hours. Their parents have stopped taking toddy or liquor. We hold regular parents’ meeting. We advise them to use toilets, besides keeping the children clean to keep away the diseases.” he said.

A government official, wishing not be named, said earlier people used to booze during the evening hours, but the evening tutorial classes had changed the environment and now those who drink do so secretly by remaining confined to their houses. Liquor has been banned in Bihar since April 5, 2016.

Geeta Paswan of Pratham Education Foundation, which assists in Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan programme, said, “First, we asked the villagers to remain clean. Then we advised that building toilet was important, then we asked them to send their children to the evening tutorial centre. Through this process gradually change started happening in the community.”

The BDO said there were about 60 tolas in Goraul block and when people shy away from taking initiative for any work example of Sonodih village is cited, where Swacchta Abhiyan had become a model.

BJP leader from Jharkhand joins JD(U) in presence of Nitish Kumar


Several political leaders from the neighbouring state of Jharkhand, including one from BJP, joined JD(U) on Sunday, following the party’s decision to go solo in the upcoming assembly elections in four states.

Those inducted into the JD (U) fold by national president and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar were Prem Kataruka, former state secretary-cum-spokesperson of BJP, Manoj Yadav of JVM (P) and Arun Mandal and Prabhat Kumar Prabhakar of JMM.

Till now, as an unspoken rule, Bihar allies JD (U) and BJP have exercised restraint in allowing leaders from joining each other’s parties.

The notable crossover of Sanjay Jha from BJP into JD (U) camp in the state was an exception. Jha, who was elevated to the post of national general secretary, is now a minister.

Sunday’s development, viewed in the context of JD (U) turning down the ‘single berth’ offer in the union cabinet, is indicative that the party is not shy of triggering a political realignment in states ruled by its saffron ally. Jharkhand is one of the two BJP ruled states, other than Haryana, that goes to polls along with Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir later this year.

Arun Kumar Singh, in-charge of JD (U) affairs in Jharkhand, said that the joining of leaders will strengthen the party and help in providing a leg-up to its electoral prospects in the state, where voters are looking for an alternative.

That the Jharkhand state unit had already started its preparations on all the 81 assembly seats was evident from the claims of JD (U) state president Salkhan Murmu, who was pitching for Nitish-model of ‘Sushashan’ in his home state which, he believed, will usher development and also remove the friction between adivasi, moolvasi and others, so that people live in harmony.

Their optimism for a ‘good showing’ also stems from the rout faced by opposition parties—JMM, JVM (P), RJD and Congress—during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. “The JD (U) is in a position to provide a credible alternative to the tribals, minorities and others, particularly after the dismal electoral performance of the JMM-Congress combine,” he said.

Backing JD-U’s more than satisfactory poll performance in Arunachal Pradesh and the strong re-iteration that it was “not part of NDA outside Bihar,” a team of Prashant Kishor’s organisation has already landed in Ranchi to conduct an independent survey to assess the party’s electoral prospects in as many as 35 assembly seats in the first phase.

A BJP leader, not willing to be named, said that such things, ahead of elections, is a common phenomena and ‘disgruntled’ elementshave little or noimpact on final outcomeas voters remain wary and recent pollshave shown that theyreject ‘turncoats’ more often than not.

Won’t Tolerate Mob Lynching or Any Crime: Jharkhand CM Raghubar Das


Ranchi: Jharkhand chief minister Raghubar Das has asserted that there will be no discrimination based on caste or religion while dealing with those involved in mob lynching or other crimes and anarchy won’t be tolerated.

Talking about the recent lynching of Muslim youth, accused of stealing a motorcycle in Saraikela Kharsawan district, he said, “My government strongly condemns this incident. Our commitment is to punish criminals… Jharkhand is the only state in the country where such cases are taken up on a fast-track basis with quick punishment to the guilty.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had last month said in Rajya Sabha that this lynching incident pained him and the guilty should get the severest punishment. He, however, said that for this incident, the entire state should not be pronounced guilty and everyone put in the dock.

Tabrez Ansari was beaten up by a mob, and a video showed that he was purportedly made to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Jai Hanuman’. He later died.

Das urged people to refrain from taking law in their hands and expressed his government’s commitment to “punish the criminals” irrespective of caste or the religion.

He also lashed out at the opposition for “giving a communal colour” to stray incidents and said things should not be blown out of proportion and “the government or any particular political party should not be blamed for such incidents”.

“It is a matter of great sadness that the opposition starts playing politics on such issues”, he said.

“Be it this kind of crime or any crime, my government will not tolerate any anarchy… There will be no discrimination in punishing criminals… the colour of blood is the same. Our motto is to ensure communal harmony, peace and brotherhood,” Das told PTI in an interview.

He said his government has constituted a special investigation team to probe the incident and eleven people have been arrested, and two police officers suspended.

According to him, there had been lynching cases during Congress regime too, but this is the first time that action against the guilty is being taken through fast-track courts in Jharkhand.

Das said that Jharkhand has followed Supreme Court guidelines fully in this regard.

The apex court had in 2018 said that “horrendous acts of mobocracy” cannot be allowed to overrun the law of the land and issued a slew of guidelines to deal with mob lynching and cow vigilantism, besides asking the centre to consider enacting a new law to deal with such cases sternly.

It had asked the state governments to designate a senior police officer, not below the rank of superintendent of police, as nodal officer in each district to take steps to prevent incidents of mob violence and lynching.

Modi, in his speech, had objected to some people calling Jharkhand a hub of lynching.

“Is this fair? Why are they insulting a state? None of us have the right to insult the state of Jharkhand,” he had said and referred to violence in states ruled by opposition parties.

“All kinds of violence, whether in Jharkhand or West Bengal or Kerala, should be treated as same and law, should take its course,” he had said.

On June 24, leader of the opposition in the upper house Ghulam Nabi Azad had said that Jharkhand has become a lynching factory where Muslims and Dalits were lynched and attacked every week.

Last year, a fast track court in Jharkhand had convicted eleven people for lynching a meat trader in June 2017 over the suspicion that he was carrying beef in his car.