Liquor addiction is such a major issue in Bihar that people are willing to illegally cross the border just for their nightly peg! Since Chief Minister Nitish Kumar banned the sale of alcohol in the state, the desperation of tipplers has reached soaring heights. Bihar became the next state to ban alcohol after Gujarat. According to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, the progress of the state would continue to be hampered as long as the youth was addicted to liquor and did not give up the habit. But clearly, while the ban was imposed with good intentions, it has not been having the desired effect. Rather, addicts are driven to new heights to satiate their craving.Also Read - Peeved Kushwaha digs up 'DNA remark' to attack Nitish
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The ban of alcohol has helped flourish the alcohol trade on the Bihar-Nepal border. Many tipplers are crossing over the border for alcohol and getting caught by the police. They are getting caught by the Nepal cops who are fining them and making them spend the night in jail. There is a heavy number of Biharis who have spent the night in jails and paid a fine. Just last Saturday, Nepal police caught 9 Biharis who had crossed over for alcohol and since the last month over 70 people have been caught. Apart from spending the night in jail and paying fines, the police is also taking a written undertaking from those caught that they will not cross the border or be seen in the area again. Also Read - Things Biharis are Tired of Hearing (Being Indian video)
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Tons of illegal huts have cropped up in the border areas and the police are on their toes raiding the areas or hunting for Indians in the evening who are enjoying their booze. The police from both the borders are constantly in touch with each other and coordinating so that they can take combined action against the offenders. There is also a fear of border related crimes being on the rise thanks to the hordes of people crossing over for some alcohol. The Bihar-Nepal border being an open border, it is easy to cross over after just a few checks. The police from the border have to constantly be on their guard to prevent any mishaps from occurring.
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While many close to the border are choosing to visit the neighbouring country for booze, there are many who are simply going over the the state next door – Uttar Pradesh for their peg. There is a train in the evening the 55017 Chhapra-Mau passenger train which used to be a convinient mode of transport for labourers or regular travellers to cross over from Bihar into Uttar Pradesh. However, the train is now being used for an entirely different purpose! The people have actually renamed the train ‘Maikhana Express’ and are using it to get into Uttar Pradesh and get their daily dose of alcohol in the neighbouring state! The train reaches Uttar Pradesh at 6PM and the addicts get a long 40 minutes to stuff themselves and their bottles with alcohol before boarding the 55132 Chhapra express back at 6.40PM.
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The new rule by Nitish Kumar has definitely seen a significant drop in crime rates. But with people being so addicted, they literally crossing borders and spending nights in jail in desperation – we wonder if this rule is as beneficial or not? Shouldn’t there be a crop of de-addiction and remedial centres and more awareness spread regarding the ways to quit the habit? Or measures taken by the government to ensure that alcohol is not distributed as freely without permits and licenses, especially in such sensitive areas? What do you think about the issue? Should the alcohol ban be continued? Is it beneficial? Or is it creating more problems than solving them?
Main Image Credit: REUTERS