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HomeNationalBihar hooch tragedy: 11 dead, over 12 missing in Saran; Questions...
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Bihar hooch tragedy: 11 dead, over 12 missing in Saran; Questions raised about the ban MPNRC News

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Jan Adhikar Party President Pappu Yadav meets a person who fell ill after allegedly consuming spurious liquor in Saran district of Bihar at PMCH in Patna on Friday, August 05, 2022. (PTI photo)

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New Delhi: At least 11 people died and more than two dozen lost their sight after drinking spurious liquor in Saran district of dry state Bihar.

Since November 2021, more than 50 deaths have occurred in the state due to hooch accidents. Earlier in January five deaths due to spurious liquor were reported in Saran and two in Patna in July. These frequent deaths have raised questions over the Nitish Kumar government’s decision to ban liquor.

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On Friday, all the cases were reported from villages falling under Maker police station limits and according to Saran District Magistrate Rajesh Meena, more than 10 of the critically ill people have lost their sight.

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“Prima facie it appears that the villagers had consumed fake liquor. Five people died here while two died at Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) where the critically ill were referred on Thursday. PTI Meena said.

Saran Superintendent of Police Santosh Kumar said, “We are conducting raids in Mekar, Marhaura and Bheldi police station areas to nab the suspected bootleggers. We will be able to tell the number of arrests after the operation is over.”

When asked when the dead and sick person consumed alcohol, the SP said that it will be known after the investigation. “Family members don’t come forward with information,” he said.

Minister of State Ashok Chaudhary, a key aide of Nitish Kumar, told reporters in Patna that all the accused will be caught and brought to justice. Action will also be taken against the police personnel whose negligence or complicity caused the incident.

Asked about questions being raised on the viability of the ban in light of the regular reporting of hooch cases, Chaudhary replied, “Dowry has not stopped, nor has rape. But that does not mean that we abolish laws against these crimes.”

In April 2016, the Nitish Kumar government had completely banned the sale and consumption of liquor in Bihar following an election promise made by the chief minister to the women of Bihar ahead of the state elections held last year.

However, the implementation of the draconian prohibition law has often been criticized by the opposition, the courts and ruling coalition partners such as former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi.

(with PTI input)

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