Hooch kills again in Bihar, seven lives lost in Saran district
Seven people died and six others were admitted to hospitals after allegedly consuming hooch in Saran district of Bihar in last two days.
The incident, which occurred in a group of villages under Amnour and Maker police stations, came on the heels of 13 liquor deaths in Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s native Nalanda district last week.
The deaths pushed the toll in such incidents in the state to 129 in the last one year. Some of the ill persons are said to have lost their eyesight.
Though the family members of the victims asserted in front of officials and media persons about liquor being the cause behind the deaths, the district administration kept denying any such incident and blamed the ongoing cold wave for the loss of lives.
“My husband was tired after hard labour and consumed liquor at Janata Bazar area before coming home on Wednesday. He started feeling sick and died before we could do anything,” Lalti Devi, wife of 60-year-old Ramnath Rai of Narsingh Bhanpur village under Amnour police station, wailed before media persons.
Muhammad Azad Hussain, son of Muhammad Isa, said: “Father had come home after drinking liquor. He started vomiting continuously and we took him to a local hospital. He died soon after.”
Information about the deaths spread like a wildfire on social media and the district administration sent its officials to probe into the incident. The local excise officials are also conducting investigations.
Earlier, the district administration was asserting that the deaths occurred because of the on going cold wave.
Saran district magistrate Rajesh Meena and superintendent of police Santosh Kumar did not respond to calls and messages by this newspaper.
Sources said that the excise officials unearthed a country liquor manufacturing unit at Amnour and arrested one Munna Mahto on the charges of brewing illicit hooch.
Meanwhile, CPI-ML legislator from Darauli constituency, Satyadev Ram visited the affected villages and met the family members of the victims.
“All family members and villagers are saying that the deaths happened after consuming liquor, but the district administration is not accepting it.
“The incident seems to be a result of hooch consumption. The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in the state has completely failed on the front of prohibition,” Ram said.
Meanwhile, Patna high court justice Sandeep Kumar, while hearing an anticipatory bail petition on Wednesday, expressed displeasure on the functioning of the Bihar government, and sought to know why the court should not believe that there was a nexus between the mafia and the police to facilitate illicit liquor network.
Justice Kumar also asked senior police and excise officials to provide information about how many liquor suppliers or mafia have been arrested so far.