Rats in Uttar Pradesh have turned alcoholic - or the state police claim. According to the police, a gang of rats drank nearly 1000 litres of alcohol that were seized in Bareilly.
The police made the claim after several cans of liquor went missing from a police station malkhana (stores). They also vowed to catch the gang of rodents to prevent such incident in future.
Seized liquor stored in plastic cans were kept at the Cantonment police station's malkhana. While some cans disappeared, many were found empty with holes in them.
The matter came to the fore on Wednesday when the muharrir (clerk) of the police station visited malkhana for inspection and found empty liquor cans. Abhinandan Singh, Superintendent of Police (city), claimed head muharrir Naresh Pal also saw rats scurrying away.
The SP said an inquiry has been ordered to ascertain if rats drank the alcohol. "We will catch this gang of rats to ensure that they are not able to enter the malkhana in future," he told.
The officer the seized liquor is destroyed after a sample is kept for legal and other purposes but the practice was not being followed at the police station.
"The stock kept in the malkhana dated back to a decade even though it should have been destroyed. I had written to senior officers informing them that the practice of destroying illegal liquor was not being followed here but received no response," he was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, a retired zoology professor of Bareilly College, who did not want to be named, said that rats could consume liquor alternatively if they stayed at a place where water was not available. "But the quantity of liquor which the police claimed that rats had consumed is unbelievable. They cannot drink 1,000 litres of alcohol as rats have a strong dislike to a high concentration of liquor," he said, adding it might be a simple case of theft.
A similar incident had happened in Bihar's Kaimur district in October where the police blamed alcohol-craving rats after 200 beer cans confiscated by police and kept in the storeroom of the excise department were found empty.