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Two excise officials suspended for 4 hooch deaths in dry Bihar, admn launches awareness drive

After suspension of nine police officials, the Bihar government has now suspended two excise officials for four hooch deaths.

india Updated: Oct 30, 2017 15:07 IST
Prasun K Mishra
Prasun K Mishra
Hindustan Times, Sasaram
hooch tragedy,spurious liquor,excise officials suspended
Angry villagers blocked the Piro-Nasariganj state highway in Rohtas district of Bihar after suspected hooch deaths. (HT file photo)

An assistant commissioner and an inspector of the excise department were suspended on Monday following the death of four people after they allegedly consumed spurious liquor in Bihar’s Rohtas district last Friday.

Assistant commissioner Kishor Kumar Sah and inspector, Bikramganj, Raj Kishor Prasad Singh were placed under suspension for negligence of duty, said Rohtas district magistrate (DM) Animesh Kumar Parashar.

The DM had on Saturday recommended suspension of the two excise officials after the tragedy at Danwar village in Kachhwa police outpost area, 51 km east of district headquarters Sasaram and 120 km southwest of state capital Patna.

Four persons died and four others were critical after they consumed liquor bought from a local shop.

Nine police officers, including the SHO, have already been placed under suspension. All the constables posted at the Kachhawa outpost had been shifted to the police lines at Dehri-on-Sone.

Two persons were 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.

Meanwhile, the district administration launched an awareness drive — ‘Hazard’— to convince people that poisonous brew was being circulated as liquor.

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.

First Published: Oct 30, 2017 15:07 IST