According to reports, he travelled in business class the day his girlfriend was on duty on the flight. Image Credit: Social media

Patna: A liquor smuggler fell so deeply in love with an air hostess that he frequently travelled by flights for a full year until he finally tied nuptial knots with his lady love.

As ill luck would have it, he was very soon arrested by the police for smuggling liquor bottles in Bihar, a state where total prohibition has been in force for the over five years.

Police said Samar Ghosh, a resident of North Dinajpur district in West Bengal, who sold vegetables on streets to support his family, turned to liquor smuggling after Bihar enforced total liquor ban in 2016 and became a millionaire soon.

It was after his rag-to-riches story that he once happened to travel by a flight from Bagdogra airport to Delhi in 2019 and instantly fell in love with an air hostess of IndiGo airlines. Such was his fascination for his “dream girl” that he travelled no less than 50 times by the same airlines flights in the next few months until he won the heart of the air hostess, said to be a resident of Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr district, and finally tied the nuptial knots with her in 2020.

According to reports, he travelled in business class the day his girlfriend was on duty on the flight.

But his happy-go-lucky story didn’t last long as he was very soon caught by the police in Purnia district of Bihar for illegally supplying liquor in the dry state. “We have information that the Bengal liquor smuggler Samar Ghosh has travelled by air from Bagdogra airport to Delhi several times in business class. It is also being investigated how many times he has travelled by air,” local Purnia district superintendent of police Daya Shankar told the media.

During interrogation, he told the police how he ran a liquor syndicate with the help of some local unemployed youths which earned him huge money. North Dinajpur is a border district of Bengal which helped him send huge consignments of liquor bottles by trucks in various border districts of Bihar that made him millionaire overnight since liquor sale was totally banned in the state.

Strict ban on liquor

Bihar enforced total prohibition in April 2016 and subsequently came out with a draconian law to put a complete ban on drinking, sale and manufacture of the alcohol in the state which resulted in hundreds of thousands of people landing in jails for even simple offence like drinking.

According to records of the Bihar police, 348,170 cases have been lodged and 401,855 arrests made under the new Bihar Prohibition and Excise law until October 2021. The law which the Chief Justice of India described as one example of “lack of foresight” has been blamed for clogging the functioning of the courts.

“You know how much impact this law (The Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act, 2016) has created in the working of the Patna High Court and it is taking one year to get a matter listed there and all the courts are choked with the liquor bail matters,” the chief justice had observed on January 11 this year while hearing a case.

The court also said that these matters have choked courts and 14-15 Patna high court judges are hearing the bail matters every day, and rejected as many as 40 appeals of the state government against grant of anticipatory and regular matters by the high court.

The Patna High Court has told the Supreme Court that there is a “phenomenal increase” in filing of bail applications due to the enforcement of prohibition in the state and roughly 25 per cent of regular bail pleas are being filed under the Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act alone.