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Bihar Hooch Tragedy: Death toll mounts to 60 in ‘dry state’ Bihar, CM refuses ex-gratia for victims’ kin

Patna: The death toll due to the consumption of spurious liquor in Bihar’s Saran district soared to 60 on Friday (December 16). The incident came to light after many people were admitted to hospitals on December 14, instigating political unrest in the Bihar Legislative Assembly. Notably, the incident has thrown several questions to the Bihar […]

Edited By : News24 Desk | Updated: Dec 16, 2022 19:19 IST
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Nitish Kumar
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar

Patna: The death toll due to the consumption of spurious liquor in Bihar’s Saran district soared to 60 on Friday (December 16). The incident came to light after many people were admitted to hospitals on December 14, instigating political unrest in the Bihar Legislative Assembly.

Notably, the incident has thrown several questions to the Bihar government regarding the effectiveness of ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol in the state since April 2016. When asked, CM Nitish Kumar, in a defensive reply, mentioned, “People who consume alcohol will die.”

According to police officials, some people who allegedly consumed the spurious liquor till late on Tuesday (December 13) complained about uneasiness after returning home. The reports of falling sick majorly came from Marhaura, Amnour, Masrakh, and Ishuapur blocks.

The medical officer-in-charge of the district, Dr Sagar Dulal Sinha, said, “Most of them were declared dead at a hospital in Chhapra, the district headquarters. Some, who had been ill since Tuesday morning, died while undergoing treatment.”

He added that the bodies of the deceased would be sent for post-mortem and examination to a forensic laboratory in Muzaffarpur, as speculations about the consumption of intoxicants are rising. The district administration mentioned that dedicated teams had been formed to track culprits who indulge in selling liquor in the dry state.

Bihar CM Defends Liquor Ban Policy

The CM, while facing backlash from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led opposition in the state Assembly, cleared out his stand on the hooch tragedy. Defending the liquor ban policy implemented across the state, he said that it benefitted many people, as they gave drinking alcohol due to strict measures.

He also mentioned that the Bihar government would not compensate people who lost their lives in the tragedy. He added, “We have been appealing- if you drink, you will die…those who talk in favor of drinking will not bring any good to you.”

First published on: Dec 16, 2022 07:13 PM IST

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