‘Hooch’ death toll rises to 16 in Bihar

The death toll in the latest suspected hooch tragedy in “dry” Bihar has climbed to 16 as three more people died in Aurangabad on Wednesday, police sources said.
Smuggled liquor being recovered in Patna. (HT Photo)
Smuggled liquor being recovered in Patna. (HT Photo)
Published on May 25, 2022 10:15 PM IST
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ByPrasun K Mishra, Gaya/aurangabad

The death toll in the latest suspected hooch tragedy in “dry” Bihar has climbed to 16 as three more people died in Aurangabad on Wednesday, police sources said.

The administration, however, confirmed only nine suspected hooch deaths — six in Aurangabad and three in Gaya.

Aurangabad district magistrate Saurabh Jorwal confirmed six suspected hooch deaths in the last three days in the district. He said poisonous spirit brought from Jharkhand and supplied to local sellers in bordering villages of Gaya and Aurangabad was behind the tragedy.

Gaya senior superintendent of police (SSP) Harpreet Kaur said the kingpin, Santosh Chaudhary, and four of his associates have been arrested.

Meanwhile, 15 people who had fallen ill, including a Home Guard constable and a hooch seller, were still undergoing treatment at Magadh Medical College and Hospital (MMCH) at Gaya and a hospital at Sherghati in the district.

MMCH principal and eye specialist Dr Arjun Chaudhary said symptoms in the patients suggested consumption of methyl alcohol, which is was for medical use and strictly prohibited for human use. Its consumption damages eyes and an overdose could cause death, he said.

Dr Mahesh Prasad, medical officer of Amas primary health centre (PHC) where patients were first brought, said they complained of burning sensation in chest and eyes, blurred vision and difficulty in breathing. They all developed the symptoms an hour after consuming liquor and died within three to four hours.

Sale and consumption of liquor in Bihar is prohibited since April 2016.

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