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    Indian Police Explain Missing Booze by Blaming Binge-Drinking Rats

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    Rats and rodents have consumed over a million liters of alcohol, according to police in an eastern Indian state, when they were asked to account for the missing alcohol.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — The bizarre excuse was given by Bihar Police after almost a million liters of alcohol that had been seized from smugglers in the state went missing.

    The Bihar government has imposed a total prohibition in April 2016. The scam came up after the media reported that bottles of alcohol that had been seized went missing from the police's own storages.

    The Press Trust of India reported: "During a recent meeting of the state police, it was said that some of the seized bottles had been destroyed, and what was left was finished off <…> by liquor-loving rats."

    After media raised the issue, an inquiry was launched into the matter. Two police personnel were suspended for consuming liquor.

    "We have asked the Patna zonal inspector general to inquire into the matter. Based on his findings, the state police headquarters will initiate further action," PTI quoted Additional Director General of Police (Headquarters) S K Singha as saying.

    The Bihar government had seized over 5,14,639 liters of Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL), 11,371 liters of beer and 3,10,292 liters of domestic brew in the state during the one year of imposition of liquor ban, according to data from the state's Excise Department. A total of 44,594 people were arrested under the new Excise Act, 2016 in the state.

    Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar imposed the ban on alcohol last April as part of his election promise to tackle alcoholism and to woo female voters. The government has cited a decrease in crime rates and road accidents as the fruits of prohibition.

    Many activists and individuals have moved court challenging the Nitish government's decision to impose a blanket ban on the consumption of alcohol and its effectiveness in tackling the menace, but the lower courts have backed the state government.

    Nitish was even lauded by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in early January for his efforts and prohibition. Modi's own home state of Gujarat practices prohibition from many decades due to the influence of Mahatma Gandhi.

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