Bihar Hooch Tragedy: CM Nitish Kumar Holds Review Meeting on Liquor Ban
As many as 32 people have been reported dead in the recent weeks after consuming poisonous hooch in Bihar.
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After a spate of deaths due to spurious alcohol in the 'dry' state, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday, 16 November, held a high-level review meeting on the prohibition of liquor.
The meeting reportedly had all of the district magistrates, superintendents of police, and senior officials of the state in attendance.
As many as 32 people have been reported dead after consuming poisonous hooch in Bihar, with Muzaffarpur, Gopalganj, Buxar, and West Champaran emerging as the hotspots.
"We urge all the political parties to come together on this in the public interest. The crime rate has decreased in Bihar after the liquor ban and parties should rise above politics and support this for the welfare of the people," Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Minister Jivesh Kumar Mishra said on Tuesday, news agency ANI reported.
Bihar Minister Shahnawaz Hussain stated that the government's stand on liquor ban was firm, and that the meeting was being held to ensure that the law is properly implemented.
The review meeting on liquor ban was held at the Chief Minister's Secretariat in Patna, where, in an instance of irony, discarded bottles of alcohol were reportedly found before the meeting.
The municipal council had subsequently rushed to the site and had cleared the bottles.
'Don't Understand Why People Drink, Will Take Action Against Violators': CM Nitish Kumar
Chief Minister and Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar has maintained that the liquor ban, which was imposed in the state in 2016, was done with the consensus of all political parties.
"People can die if they consume liquor. It is a bad substance. I don't understand why people drink liquor," Kumar said while interacting with mediapersons on Monday.
"We will try to find out the loose gaps besides strictly implementing the rules to prevent violations. We will take stringent action against the violators," Kumar said.
What Was Discussed in the Meeting?
Saying that the chief minister has given several instructions, Home Secretary Chaitanya Prasad said, “Action should be taken in the police station where no action has been taken, vigil should be increased in the border area. Any complaint that comes through the call centre should be investigated as soon as possible. Liquor coming from other states needs to be stopped. Home delivery is happening in cities, that will also be stopped.”
Prasad further stated, “Action will be taken on all of them by conducting raids. All the ministers in charge will also work in their districts regarding prohibition of liquor along with other schemes.”
Meanwhile, the home secretary added, laws will be implemented with more strictness.
Further, DGP SK Singhal said that trust and cooperation has to be established among the people at all levels. Moreover, enforcement has to be strengthened, he said.
Singhal added, “Intelligence team is being strengthened. If our central team received information from somewhere and then liquor is recovered, then the station in-charge will be given a show cause notice.”
Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition for Bihar Assembly Tejashwi Yadav, hitting out against Kumar, was previously quoted as saying by news agency IANS:
"He (Nitish Kumar) used to hold high-level meetings with the same officials and ministers. What change has he made? Liquor tragedies keep occurring in Bihar with people losing their lives."
(With inputs from ANI and IANS.)
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