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Bihar: Several Continue to Die in Hooch Tragedies in ‘Dry’ State

The death of at least two men on March 31 is the fourth such incident in the last three months when people have lost their life allegedly after consuming illicit liquor.
illicit liquor

Patna: In dry Bihar, illicit liquor consumption has again claimed the lives of at least two people. This is the fourth such incident in the last three months when people have lost their life after consuming illicit liquor. The series of incidents has exposed the ground reality of the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government’s failure to check and control the illicit liquor trade.

In a similar case, six people have allegedly died after consuming illicit liquor in two villages in Nawada district since Tuesday (March 30). However, the district administration is yet to confirm this incident. The police have said that they have not received any such information, while. the families of the victims claimed that they died after consuming liquor.

The village head of Bhadouni panchayat in Nawada, Abida Azmi, said that all victims were cremated by the families in a hurry fearing police action against them as they died after consuming liquor.

Ironically, the slew of cases are being reported from a state where manufacture, storage, transportation, sale and consumption of alcohol or liquor have been banned for the last five years. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had imposed the total liquor prohibition in the state in April 2016.

In the latest incident, two residents of Gudhiyari village under Bakhri olice Station in Begusarai district died on March 31 after consuming illicit country made liquor and another resident is battling for life in a private hospital. The victims of the latest case have been identified as Raj Kumar Shahni, 22, and Parmeshwar Choudhary, 35, while Birju Shahni, is undergoing treatment at a hospital.

According to villagers and the victims’ families, three of them consumed locally made liquor, popularly known as Mahua-Daru, during Holi on Monday and Tuesday. But on late Tuesday night they complained of uneasiness, stomach pain, vomiting and weakness. Soon two of them passed away and while the other was admitted to a hospital for treatment.

A local police team stopped the family members of two victims from cremating the bodies on Wednesday, after some villagers informed them about the deaths. The police have sent the bodies for post mortem, as per reports.

Villagers have expressed anger over the incident and blamed the local police for the flourishing trade of the illicit country made liquor in their village and neighbouring areas. “We have informed police and repeatedly complained about illegal liquor trade by liquor mafia but police failed to control and act against it,” said the brother of one of the victim Shahni.

He added that if the police had enforced prohibition in the village and acted against local liquor mafia this tragedy could have been avoided.

Also read: Illicit Liquor, Crime and Politics in Bihar Polls

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