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Spurious liquor claims 10 lives

- After Ara, hooch tragedy strikes Gaya
District magistrate Bandana Preyashi at a hooch victim’s house in Gaya on Tuesday. Picture by Suman

At least 10 people, including two women, died here since Monday evening after consuming spurious liquor.

Twelve others are admitted to Anugrah Narayan Medical College and Hospital (ANMCH).

The ANMCH superintendent, Sitaram Prasad, told The Telegraph that seven persons were admitted to the hospital while three were brought dead late on Monday evening. Of those admitted, six left the hospital without even informing the emergency ward. An in-patient, identified as Manikchand Manjhi, died around 3.30pm on Tuesday, he said.

According to reports, Tullu Manjhi, Mahangu Ram, his wife Shanti Devi, their son Manikchand Manjhi, Ramavataar Manjhi, Devnandan Manjhi, Rameshwar Manjhi, Harishchandra Manjhi, Basanti Devi and Ishwari Das of Rampur Bhuin Toli and Shashtrinagar Bhuin Toli under the Rampur police station area — in the western part of Gaya town — have died since late on Monday evening after they consumed spurious liquor.

Gaya senior superintendent of police Vinay Kumar said a godown was raided at Bindi Yadav Market belonging to Mantu Yadav, the brother of RJD MLA from Belaganj Surendra Yadav. At least 36 sacks of country-made liquor pouches were seized. An FIR against more than four persons, including Mantu, would be lodged for running the illegal liquor shop in Rampur, city DSP Rakesh Kumar said.

Following the tragedy, excise department secretary Sandeep Pondrik arrived in Gaya on Tuesday to review the situation. Pondrik held a meeting with excise commissioner Dayanidhan Pandey and district magistrate Bandana Preyashi.

The victims’ bodies were handed over to their relatives after post-mortem. The relatives would be provided Rs 1,500 under the Kabeer Anteyashti Yojana to perform the last rites and Rs 10,000 under the family welfare scheme, sources said.

This is the second hooch tragedy in the state in the last four days after 21 people died in Ara since Saturday.