Flying High for Surveillance: Indian State of Bihar Uses Choppers to Tail Illicit Liquor Trade

CC0 / / Liquor
Liquor - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.02.2022
In April 2016, the sale and consumption of alcohol was completely banned in the state of Bihar. Yet, bootlegging has increased since the ban came into effect, and opposition parties have accused the government of not properly handling the situation.
Faced with criticism by opposition parties over the "ineffective implementation" of a liquor ban in the state, especially after a tragedy last November when over 40 people died in Bihar following the consumption of spurious liquor or hooch, the Nitish Kumar government in the state is deploying helicopters to keep an eye on the illicit alcohol trade.
On Tuesday, Bihar chief Nitish Kumar along with officials from a relevant department visited the state capital Patna in a chopper for surveillance purposes, the Indian news agency Asian News International (ANI) reported.
After 40 people died from consuming tainted alcohol, the state government in December deployed drones to crack down on bootleggers and those violating the liquor ban in the state.
In January, 11 people died in the Nalanda district after consuming illicit liquor. On 27 January, six more people died after consuming spurious liquor.
The consumption of illegally produced alcohol, which is much cheaper than branded spirits, is typical in rural parts of the country.
Methanol, a highly toxic form of alcohol, is often mixed and used as an anti-freeze to increase the concentration of the bootleggers' mixtures. Methanol can cause permanent blindness, liver damage, and death if ingested in even small quantities.
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