The death toll due to spurious liquor in Bihar’s Chhapra has been climbing up for some time now, with reports showing 65 fatalities, while official figures remain at 28. In light of the controversy surrounding the hooch tragedy, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday rubbished reports doing rounds and said the number of deaths due to spurious liquor is lower in the state of Bihar.
He also said that the compensation for deaths due to toxic liquor are “out of question". “No compensation will be given to people who died after drinking…We have been appealing- if you drink, you will die…those who talk in favour of drinking will not bring any good to you…", said Nitish Kumar.
Defending the liquor ban in Bihar, he had said that the state’s prohibition policy has benefitted several people and a large number of people have given up drinking alcohol due to his measures.
#WATCH | “No compensation will be given to people who died after drinking…We have been appealing- if you drink, you will die…those who talk in favour of drinking will not bring any good to you…", said CM Nitish Kumar in assembly earlier today.
(Source: Bihar Assembly) pic.twitter.com/zquukNtRIA
— ANI (@ANI) December 16, 2022
Nitish Kumar also took a jibe at the Morbi bridge collapse in Gujarat, that claimed many lives. He came down heavily on former ally BJP and alleged that ‘even though so many people died, the news made it to the papers just for a day.’
Addressing the Bihar Assembly, Nitish Kumar also reiterated a statement he made the previous day and said ‘Piyoge to maroge’ – you will die if you drink. The Congress too backed Kumar’s statement.
Meanwhile, the Saran District Magistrate said that action has also been initiated against the officials concerned. “We have conducted intensive raids across the district in the last 48 hours and nabbed 126 hooch traders. More than 4,000 litres of illicit liquor have also been seized," the SDM told PTI on Thursday.
The Superintendent of Police Santosh Kumar, has however declined to divulge whether the arrested persons included those directly involved in the latest hooch case, saying that “the matter is still under investigation and disclosing much at this stage could hamper the probe".
An SIT consisting of 31 police officials, headed by an additional SP, including three deputy SPs have been set up to crack the case.
Over 50 people died after they allegedly drank liquor that was reportedly stolen from a police station that was seized by the excise department. The police say they have arrested over 80 people and a total of over 460 people have been arrested in the last fortnight over illicit liquor cases, as per sources.
The Nitish Kumar government banned consumption and sale of alcohol in 2016. The state has seen several hooch tragedies since then.
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