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4 die in dry Bihar after allegedly drinking spurious liquor, 9 cops suspended

Eight persons had consumed liquor at Danwar village in Bihar’s Rohtas district and told their family about it after they developed symptoms of nausea, headache, vomiting and uneasiness.

india Updated: Oct 28, 2017 18:20 IST
Prasun K Mishra
Prasun K Mishra
Hindustan Times, Sasaram
Hooch tragedy,hooch deaths,liquor
Angry villagers blocking the Piro-Nasariganj state highway in Rohtas district of Bihar after the suspected hooch deaths. (HT photo)

Four people died on Friday after allegedly drinking spurious liquor in Rohtas district of Bihar where a stringent prohibition law is in place.

Four other people, who also consumed the hooch at Danwar village in Kachhawa police outpost area, 51 km east of district headquarters Sasaram and 120 km southwest of state capital Patna, have been admitted at different hospitals with symptoms of stomach pain and vomiting.

Villagers said all the eight people had consumed liquor in the village and told their family about it after they developed symptoms of nausea, headache, vomiting and uneasiness in the evening. While Harihar Singh, 50, and Kamlesh Singh, 35, died before any medical aid could be provided to them, Uday Singh, 35, and Dhanjit Singh, 26, passed away during treatment at Narayan Medical College and Hospital (NMCH) near Dehri on Sone, 38 km south of the village.

Confirming the four deaths, Rohtas district magistrate (DM) Animesh Kumar Parashar said nine policemen, including Kachhawa police outpost SHO, a sub-inspector, four assistant sub-inspectors, a munshi and two chowkidars, had been suspended for lapses. All the constables posted at the Kachhawa outpost had been shifted to the police lines at Sasaram, the Parashar said. A proposal for suspension of excise inspector Raj Kishore Prasad been sent to the department concerned and charges were being framed against assistant excise commissioner Kishor Kumar Sah, the DM added.

Two persons had been arrested and three houses at the village, including that of Shashi Singh where the victims allegedly consumed liquor, sealed, the DM said. Proceedings to attach the houses of Shashi Singh, Mathuri Singh and Antim Lal, suspected to have brought the illicit liquor into the village, had also been initiated, he said. Liquor bottles and cannabis were recovered from the houses during raids, Parashar said, adding that the house owners were absconding.

Shahabad range deputy inspector general (DIG) Mohammad Rehman, who visited Danwar village after the incident, said the post-mortem report was yet to be out, but prima facie the deaths appeared to have been caused by consumption of spurious liquor.

The condition of those who have fallen ill and undergoing treatment at hospitals suggests the same,” the DIG said.

Earlier, angry villagers had blocked the Piro-Nasariganj state highway by placing the bodies on the road. They were demanding compensation and action against the Kachhwa SHO for “facilitating illegal liquor trade”. They alleged that countrymade liquor was being manufactured and sold in the village “under the patronage of local police who were not taking action against those involved in the illegal trade despite several complaints.” The blockade was lifted after the DM announced action against the “erring cops.”

Bihar became a dry state on April 5, last year. Consuming, keeping or dealing in liquor is an offence under the state’s new excise prohibition law, which provides for imprisonment up to 10 years.

Despite the stringent anti-liquor law, illegal trade of the banned brew continues clandestinely in many pockets of the state. In August 2016, at least 16 people had died in suspected hooch tragedy in Gopalganj district.

Excise officials said 20,120 litres of liquor and 766 kg of mahua had been recovered and 857 persons arrested in connection with 1013 cases of prohibition law violation in Rohtas district after the ban was imposed.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: Oct 28, 2017 12:53 IST