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Bihar government asks teachers to inform about tipplers; opposition slams move

The order says that families of those indulging in the consumption of illicit liquor are being badly affected and it’s necessary to stop that.

The government ordered to call a meeting of the education committee of primary and middle schools to inform about deaddiction.

Under attack from all corners for failing to implement the liquor prohibition, the Bihar government yesterday ordered primary and secondary school teachers, principals and other staff to inform about the tipplers and illegal liquor suppliers. The order was issued by the Department of Education. However, the opposition slammed the decision to involve teachers in this work.

The order says that families of those indulging in the consumption of illicit liquor are being badly affected and it’s necessary to stop that. The government ordered to call a meeting of the education committee of primary and middle schools to inform about deaddiction.

“The principals/teachers/teaching assistant/members of the school education committee of primary and middle schools/higher secondary schools should be asked to identify those who indulge in illicit liquor consumption and supply and inform the prohibition department on mobile number 94734000378, 9473400606 and toll-free number 18003456268/15545. Identity of those giving information will be kept secret,” said the order.

The order also asked the education committees to ensure that school premises are not used by those involved in illegal liquor consumption after school hours.

Liquor prohibition came into effect in Bihar in April 2016 but the Nitish Kumar led NDA government has so far failed in implementing a complete prohibition. The illegal liquor rackets have mushroomed after the ban and hundreds of people have lost their lives in hooch tragedies since then.

However, the move did not go well with the opposition which slammed the government while highlighting the workload of teachers.

“A few years ago, teachers were asked to ensure that people did not defecate in the open and embarrass the government over its questionable open defecation free claims. Now they have come up with another foolishness,” said Congress spokesman Asit Tiwari.

RJD chief spokesman and MLA Bhai Virendra termed the order as “Tughlaqi” (arbitrary) and one which could endanger the lives of teachers by bringing them in direct conflict with the powerful “liquor mafia”.

Teachers appear to be in agreement with the view. Ashwini Pandey, a spokesman of an association of teachers, came out with a video statement to the effect. “The Right to Education Act entails that teachers must not be made to perform non-teaching tasks. The government is requested to withdraw this order”, Pandey said.

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