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Total prohibition in Bihar: Staggering 1.25 lakh arrests in 2 years since CM Nitish Kumar’s decision

When Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar officially made the landmark announcement to implement total prohibition in the state on April 5 in 2016, the Janata Dal (United) stalwart was hailed as a path-breaker. The decision has marked two years and the Chief Minister has maintained that it According to data obtained by The Indian Express, a staggering 1,22,392 arrests were made under the prohibition law over the last two years by the state police. Gaya, Motihari and Patna jail circles have witnessed the influx of the most number of people arrested during this two-year period. It has been learnt that almost 67.1 per cent of the total 1,22,392 persons arrested are lodged in the aforementioned jail circles. These three jail circles cover 10 district jails and nine sub-jails. According to jail officials, most of these arrested persons were regular users or alcoholics. The Motihari jail circle, which comprises of Motihari Central Jail, Chapra, Siwan, Gopalganj and Bettaih district jails and Bagaha sub-jail, has 24, 672 prisoners who were arrested under prohibition act. Gaya jail circle has Gaya central jail, Aurangabad, Nawada and Jehanabad district jails. It also has Sherghati, Daudnagar and Gaya sub-jails. These jails have a total of 25,002 prisoners arrested after CM Kumars announcement. Patna jail circle comprises Beur Cetral Jail, Phulwari Sharif, Bihar Sharif and Hajipur district jails. It also has sub-jails Barh, Patna City, Hilsa, Danapur and Masaurhi sub-jails. It has 32,501 prisoners caught under Prohibition Act. A senior police official said that Motihari and Gaya circles are important. because they are located on what we know are the main smuggling routes of liquor into Bihar Motihari in northwest Bihar borders Nepal and can be accessed from UP through Gopalganj. Gaya in the south borders Jharkhand. After CM Kumars landmark decision, Bihar Excise and Prohibition Act came into force on April 6, 2016. Under its various sections, consuming, storing, selling and manufacturing liquor are non-bailable offences. The law also says that if an adult is caught drinking inside the house, other adults in that residence could face charges of complicity. Arrests can be executed without a court warrant but the accused can later seek regular bail, the report says.