'If You Drink, You Will Die', Says Bihar CM, Rules Out Compensation For Hooch Tragedy Victims
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has ruled out compensating the kin of people dying after consuming spurious liquor.
“No compensation will be provided to people who die after consuming spurious liquor. We have been appealing to you not to drink. If you drink, you will die. Those who speak against prohibition will not bring any good to the people,” the Bihar CM said on Friday.
Worst hooch tragedy in Bihar
The CM’s comment comes even as the death toll in the hooch tragedy has risen to over 50.
This is said to be the worst hooch tragedy in Bihar since the liquor ban was enforced in the state more than six years ago.
Deaths have been reported across three villages under Mashrakh, Ishuapur and Amnaur police stations of Marhaura sub-division in the Chhapra area. The police suspect the villagers might have purchased the liquor from a common shop in these adjoining areas.
Calls grow louder to revoke ban
The hooch tragedy in Saran has again made louder calls to revoke the ban.
CM Nitish, who has been under pressure, including from some allies, has so far refused to budge and has said that the ban has resulted in many people in the state giving up liquor.
Another hooch tragedy
On Friday, there were reports of yet another hooch tragedy in Siwan district, where at least 5 people died after allegedly consuming spurious liquor.
All five deceased are residents of Brahsthan and Sondhani villages of Bhagwanpur Police Station area. The death toll is expected to rise as many more suspected of consuming the same liquor are admitted to hospitals.
NHRC issues notice to Bihar government
On Friday, the National Human Rights Commission issued notices to the Bihar government and the state’s police chief over the Saran hooch tragedy.
The sale and consumption of alcohol was completely banned in Bihar in April 2016, though its “implementation has been patchy,” the NHRC observed in a statement.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has “taken suo motu cognisance of the media reports that several people have died after allegedly consuming spurious liquor in Saran district of Bihar,” it said.
The commission has observed that the contents of the media reports, if true, raise concern for human rights.
The reported incident “indicates the failure of the state government” on implementation of its policy of prohibition of sale and consumption of illicit or spurious liquor in the state, it said.
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