Patna: Authorities in India’s Bihar state have once again accused marauding rats of guzzling liquor worth millions of rupees stored in police store rooms.
According to officials, a total of 11,584 bottles were stored in police evidence rooms. The contraband had been seized during anti-liquor raids.
Bihar has imposed a prohibition on the consumption of liquor across the state and authorities have been destroying the illegal liquor stocks seized during various operations.
This is the second time that rats have been blamed for the disappearance of seized liquor stocks.
In May last year, rats were accused by policemen of guzzling around a million litres of seized alcohol, which was also being stored in police stations, prompting the authorities to issue orders to drive exterminate the rodents.
In the latest incident, authorities in Kaimur, a district some 200km from Patna, said they found a large number of beer bottles and cans packed inside seized cartons empty.
Large holes had been perforated in the caps of the bottles and on some cans.
“Prime facie the beer cans seem to have been destroyed by rats in the store rooms. We saw big holes on the bottle caps when we opened the cartons,” local sub-divisional magistrate Kumari Anupama told the media on Monday.
Anupama said she was verifying the seized liquor stocks before destroying them in public when she found many bottles empty.
“The cartons were still well packed but the cans were damaged. We were surprised to find them in such condition,” she said adding that it could have been the handiwork of the rats.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) for Patna Manu Maharaj was holding meeting with police officers in his office when he inquired from the officials about the status of the seized contraband stored at the police station.
He was surprised when his subordinates blamed rats for destroying almost all the bottles.
When the SSP asked how these rats could guzzle such a huge quantity of liquor, he was told the naughty rats gnawed at the caps or cans and sipped the intoxicants before their eyes!
“Sir, using their razor sharp incisors, they easily make holes in the caps of liquor bottle or beer cans and drink alcohol kept in the storehouses,” the local media quoted the police inspectors as having told the SSP.
Soon after coming to know about the incident, the state government ordered for destroying the seized liquor stocks at regular intervals. It was in the light of government order that the Kaimur administration had gone to destroy the liquor stock when it found the liquor missing from many bottles.