Bihar liquor deaths: RJD leader says Nitish Kumar govt involved in 'syndicate’
RJD leader Manoj Jha said the liquor ban in place in Bihar since 2016 is “just a drama” and the recent deaths are to be considered as the failure of the state government.
Amid an uproar over deaths due to consumption of spurious liquor in Bihar’s West Champaran district, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Manoj Jha on Friday said that a syndicate is running in the state of which the Nitish Kumar-led government is also a part.
“This is a liquor syndicate, which has been run from the villages to the state capital. The liquor ban is just a drama. There are officials and bureaucrats in the system who are running this liquor syndicate,” Jha told news agency ANI.
He added that if people are losing their lives in the state and consuming the spurious liquor then it is the “failure of the state government”.
“There is no full stop on the ban, the officials of the state government are involved in this,” Jha was quoted as saying.
On Friday, the death toll due to the suspected spurious liquor consumption shot up to 12 with six more people losing their lives due to related complications.
Superintendent of police (SP) Upendra Nath Verma told Hindustan Times his department is awaiting the post-mortem reports of the latest deceased persons to reach any conclusion. “Prima facie, these deaths appear to have occurred due to the consumption of poisonous substances,” he said.
The tragedy was reported for the first time on Thursday when 10 people passed away in West Champaran and Gopalganj districts. While six fatalities were reported from West Champaran, as many as four lives were lost in Gopalganj district.
Meanwhile, four persons, including two women, have been arrested and five others have been detained, West Champaran district officials said. Verma said a local station house officer (SHO) Manish Kumar and one chowkidar were suspended owing to the incident.
On Friday, Bihar minister Janak Chamar said a conspiracy is underway under the pretext of spurious liquor. “Those who consume it are poor. When action is taken and raids are done, the weak are nabbed…Unfortunate,” he was quoted as saying by ANI.
Last month, five people died and several others fell ill after consuming spurious liquor in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district.
The government, led by Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) had banned manufacture, sale and consumption of all forms of liquor in the state in 2016.