Death toll in Bihar hooch tragedy rises to 26, 20 others still in hospital
The death toll in Bihar hooch tragedy has mounted to 26 as four more people, who had consumed the spurious liquor in Motihari area of East Champaran district, succumbed on Monday.
According to officials, twenty people who had ingested the illicit liquor, are currently admitted in various hospitals across the district.
East Champaran Superintendent of Police (SP) Kantesh Kumar Mishra said that following the incident, Station House Officers (SHOs) of Turkauliya, Harsiddhi, Sugauli and Paharpur police stations and Raghunathpur outpost, have been suspended for dereliction of duties.
The officer said the toll due to the suspected hooch tragedy has now risen to 26 after the deaths of four more people during the past 10 hours.
SP Mishra said that besides the suspension of concerned SHOs, disciplinary actions were taken against 11 policemen, including nine chowkidars, on Sunday.
The senior officer further said that the police have registered five FIRs in connection with the incident and arrested 80 people so far for alleged involvement in illicit liquor business in the district, adding that further investigation is ongoing and more arrests are expected.
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On April 15, five people reportedly died in Motihari after consuming spurious liquor leading to a crackdown on the illicit alcohol trade by the police who recovered 370 litres of country-made liquor, 50 litres of spirit and 1,150 litres of other chemicals used in the manufacturing of spurious liquor during raids at over 600 places across East Champaran district.
Opposition BJP attacked the Nitish Kumar-led Bihar government over the deaths as it alleged that the liquor mafias “associated with the ruling JD(U) and the RJD” are being “shielded” by the administration.
The saffron party dubbed the Motihari deaths as ‘mass murder by the Nitish Kumar government’ and said they will approach the National Human Rights Commission and other central bodies to demand a ‘probe into the hooch tragedy.”
The JD(U)-RJD coalition government led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar imposed a liquor ban in Bihar in April 2016.
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