As Spurious Liquor Claims 13 Lives in Bihar, Families Blame Cops' Inaction

At least 13 people were killed after drinking 'illicit liquor' in Nalanda. Their bodies have been sent for autopsy.

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Video Producer: Kanishk Dangi

Video Editor: Kanishk Dangi, Subroto Adhikari

In Bihar's Nalanda district, which is also the home district of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, at least 13 were killed after they allegedly drank spurious liquor last week. Their families are now pointing fingers at the police for not taking strict action against the availability of illicit liquor in the dry state of Bihar.

'Police Are Scared To Act'

"He used to drink a lot," said Jyoti Devi, the daughter of one of the deceased. Holding back her tears, Devi said that her father's stomach began aching and he started vomiting. When they took him to the doctor, the staff said he had passed away.

Lalita Devi, a relative of another deceased, had a similar ordeal to share. "After having food in the morning, he started vomiting, and at midnight, he felt uncomfortable. We took him to the doctor where he was administered an injection. He was also given some medicines. But by the time we got back home, he had died," she said.

Angered by the failure of the police in cracking down on the availability of spurious liquor in the dry state of Bihar, Munirka Devi, mother of one of the deceased, said that alcohol had always been around. "We have complained to the policemen, but they are scared to take any action," she said.

34 Arrested Till 17 January

Until 17 January, 11 persons were confirmed dead by Ajay Paswan, councillor representative of Ward Number 10. "We request the government to grant ex gratia to the kin of the deceased," said Paswan.

While investigations are on, bodies of the deceased have been sent for post-mortem examination. Meanwhile, district magistrate Shashank Shubhankar said that 184 litre of illicit liquor and 225 litre of imported liquor were seized, while 34 arrests were made as of 17 January.

Regretting the incident, ASP Ashok Mishra said, "Raids have been conducted and three teams have been constituted for the investigations."

Opposition Leader Slams State Government

Danish Rizwan, a spokesperson for the HAM party, asked why the government couldn't roll back the law prohibiting alcohol in the state, if the Centre could repeal the farm laws.

"If the Centre can roll back the farm laws, why can't the prohibition of alcohol be reversed in Bihar? Because of the prohibition, spurious liquor is being sold in Bihar, and that's what is causing these incidents," said Rizwan.

The incident comes on the heels of a hooch tragedy in the state last year, wherein at least 40 people were killed after drinking spurious liquor across four districts of Bihar.

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