Four die, two fall critically sick in a suspected hooch tragedy in Nalanda
Bihar BJP chief and West Champaran MP Sanjay Jaiswal batted for the review of the state’ liquor prohibition law, saying that the legislation may be well intentioned but its implementation has brought shame to the state.
PATNA: In yet another incident of suspected hooch tragedy, four persons died and two left critically ailing allegedly due to consumption of illicit liquor late on Friday evening in chief minister Nitish Kumar’s home district of Nalanda.
The deceased are Bhago Mistri (55), Manna Mistri (55), Dharmendra alias Nageshwar Mistri (50) and Kalichanra Mistri (48), all of them of the twin tola of Chhoti Palari and Pahar Talli under Sohsarai police station area.
Shivaji Chauhan and Ram Swarup, both of them in the same age group and of the same locality, are being treated at Bihar Sharif sadar hospital. The condition of both the persons is stated to be precarious.
Family members alleged that the victims, who worked as construction labourers, consumed alcohol together and fell sick once they reached home. “While two of them died at home, one died at Sohsarai primary health centre during the treatment and another declared brought dead,” said a police officer.
Deputy superintendent of police (DSP), Sadar, Sibli Nomani, under whose jurisdiction the incident occurred, said that the reasons for the death was not clear as yet. “Statement of the bereaved families are being recorded. Postmortem reports of the deceased are being awaited to know the exact cause of the deaths,” said Nomani.
State DGP SK Singhal could not be contacted for his comments. The police personnel, who picked his official phone, said the DGP could be contacted on this number during the office time. “Other than the office hours, DGP saheb hands over his mobile to the control room,” said the staff. Additional chief secretary, home, Chaitanya Prasad said the DGP was the most suited person to comment on it.
This is the seventh incident of hooch in Bihar in which more than 40 persons have died allegedly due to the intake of spurious liquor in the last six months, even as the state has been under total prohibition regime since April, 2016.
Most of the hooch tragedies were reported from East Champaran, West Champaran, Muzaffarpur and Samastipur districts in the recent times.
State BJP chief and West Champaran MP Sanjay Jaiswal on Friday once again batted for the review of prohibition law, saying that the legislation may be well intentioned but its implementation has brought shame to the state. His reaction was to a social media post of the JD(U) spokesman Abhishek Jha, who questioned Jaiswal’s visit to the houses of the victims of hooch tragedy in the latter’s home constituency. In a post, Jaiswal also claimed to have personal knowledge of many instances in which people from other states had to suffer for carrying liquor though they were merely passing through Bihar.
JD(U) spokesman Rajiv Ranjan said that it was a shocking incident and those responsible for it would be penalized. “Such type of incidents is abated by those unsocial elements, who are utterly disappointed by the liquor law. So far as the state BJP chief’s assertion is concerned, I hope that leaders of the alliance partners must abide by the coalition dharma and help the government enforce the law with full firmness. After all, they too have taken pledge to make Bihar liquor free,” added Ranjan.
Congress leader and former MLC Ajay Kumar Singh said that recurring hooch tragedies exposed the failure of the state government and it was high time the liquor law should be reviewed to save the poor and the downtrodden, who generally fall prey to spurious liquor. “Leaders of the ruling parties have openly said that alcohols of good brands are easily available to affordable lots. But the poor mostly resort to the illegally produced country liquor as they are available cheap. The government shall better focus on social awareness to dissuade people from alcohol consumption than using stringent legal route,” said Singh.