Patna: The Bihar government has requisitioned 20 specially trained pups from Telangana to sniff out liquor in its effort to sharpen the campaign against alcohol which is banned in the state for over two years.
At present, the state police have 51 dogs; 27 sniffers and 23 trackers. But these canines can’t sniff out liquor. Earlier, the state government had planned to install fully-body truck scanners at five check posts in the state to check smuggling.
After an exhaustive search for such trained dogs, the Bihar police finally zoomed in on Telangana which trains canines for sniffing explosives as well as liquor. Each puppy has been bought for Rs 1.75 lakh.
The police headquarters has purchased 20 pups, all of a foreign breed (Labrador), and handed them over to Hyderabad-based Integrated Intelligence Training Academy (IITA) kennel to be trained in sniffing out alcohol from a distance.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar enforced complete prohibition in Bihar in April 2016 by bringing new anti-liquor law in the state with stringent provisions. According to the state government data, more than 1.15 lakh people have been arrested in the state for violating the liquor ban.
The ADG of Bihar Crime Intelligence Department said that they had established contact with canine training centres of the Army as well as paramilitary forces but could not find dogs specialised in smelling liquor.
Additional director-general of the criminal investigation department, Vinay Kumar, said the trained dogs will assist the police and excise officials examine vehicles and luggage at check-posts in border districts, bus stands and railway stations in the state.
The 20 trained canines would be distributed in all four police zones of Bihar — Patna, Muzaffarpur, Darbhanga and Bhagalpur, he said.
Sources said liquor continued to flow in Bihar despite total prohibition being enforced in April 2016. On Friday, excise department sleuths seized Indian-made foreign liquor worth over Rs 2 crore from a potato-laden truck in Muzaffarpur.