Facing a crisis of space to house nearly 35,000 people arrested under new liquor law, the Bihar government is mulling capacity expansion of prisons to accommodate overflow of tipplers. “We are thinking of enhancing capacity of jails to house more inmates arrested under new liquor law,” Excise and Prohibition minister Abdul Jalil Mastan said.
He, however, did not give details. A proposal for enhancing capacity for inmates would be brought in the cabinet, Mastan said. The minister’s concern is not out of place as 58 jails existing in Bihar at present are overflowing with inmates arrested under liquor law in the state since April last year.
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Director Jails Rajiv Verma told PTI today that Bihar at present has 58 prisons with a capacity to accommodate about 32,000 inmates. He said there are eight central, 32 districts and 18 sub-jails in Bihar. Assistant Excise Commissioner Om Prakash Mandal told PTI that 34,388 people have been forwarded to jails under new Excise Law since April 2016 to February 6, 2017.
This burgeoning number of people brought to jails caught under liquor law is posing a serious challenge to prisons to house them. The new Excise Law, 2016 brought in pursuance of total prohibition imposed by Nitish Kumar government has a provision for jail term of 5-10 years for people caught with alcohol.