Educate five children for three months: Bihar court to liquor smuggler granted bail

Parents must certify this was done, rules judge in Jhanjharpur.

A namesake of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was granted bail by a local court on Tuesday, after nine months of imprisonment under the new prohibition law, on condition that he would enable free education for five underprivileged children for three months, which the parents would certify.

Avinash Kumar, Additional District Session Judge (First) at Jhanjharpur in Madhubani district of north Bihar, granted bail to accused Nitish Kumar, who was arrested in November 2020 under the strict 2016 State prohibition law. The court also asked the accused to adhere to the law in future.

The FIR against the accused was registered at the Madhepur Police Station by the village chowkidar (watchman) Jaldhari Paswan. The complainant said he had received information that some liquor smugglers had reached the vicinity of a temple in Pachahi village in an SUV and a bike. “When I reached there and tried to stop the smugglers, they fled from the spot after firing in the air,” he said.

Kumar, a native of the Bhargama-Bheja village under the Madhepur Police Station, was riding on a motorcycle loaded with illegal liquor, the police complaint said. He was later arrested and sent to jail.

Since the law was enforced, several lakhs of litres of illegally traded liquor has been seized in the State, and over 3.5 lakh people have been arrested and sent to jail. Despite strict provisions and enforcement, illegal trade and consumption of liquor has been rampant across the State, with several policemen suspended for funnelling liquor from Jharkhand, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana in nexus with smugglers. The illicit trade also extends to Nepal, which shares a porous border with several districts of Bihar.

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