Patna: At least four people died after allegedly consuming spurious liquor in Bihar in yet another embarrassment to the ruling Nitish Kumar government which imposed total prohibition in April last year.
This is the third hooch tragedy in Bihar after the state government imposed total liquor ban and also came out with harsh liquor laws which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), now a partner in the government, had once termed “draconian”.
All the deaths were reported from Basauli village in Vaishali district which is very close to Patna, the capital of Bihar state. Reports said the local villagers hurriedly cremated some victims as the government has made provisions for severe punishment for those violating the liquor laws.
Villagers allege a local police official was involved in the illegal trade of spurious liquor which claimed the lives of poor villagers. The police said they were investigating the case and could say anything only after getting the post-mortem reports of victims.
“The panicky family members of the deceased are yet to tell police what had happened to them after they all suddenly fell ill,” a police officer told the local media adding the symptoms of the deceased were similar to those of consuming poisonous liquor. According to report, the victims were suffering from nausea, vomiting, uneasiness before they collapsed.
The fresh incident comes barely a fortnight after five people died after consuming spurious liquor in Rohtas district last month.
This is the third hooch tragedy in Bihar since the state government imposed a total ban on alcohol. In August last year, yet another hooch tragedy which was reported from Gopalganj district had claimed around 20 lives, prompting the state government to suspend 25 police officials.
Liquor continues to flow in Bihar despite the state forming what its government claims is the world’s biggest human chain against alcoholism.
According to an official report, 1.42 million litres of alcohol have been seized from April this year during the course of intensive raids conducted across the state, indicating how the illegal trade of liquor has continued to flourish despite the ban.