In the aftermath of Gopalganj hooch deaths, 25 policemen have been suspended, six people have been arrested and an FIR has been lodged against 14 people, news agency ANI reported Friday.
According to reports, the victims consumed spurious liquor on Monday night. While the first death was reported on Tuesday morning, the toll rose to 16 by Thursday.
Bihar government is coming down heavily on suspects responsible for the incident. On Thursday, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had promised to punish the culprits “as per the new excise law.” Facing opposition flak over the hooch tragedy, Kumar did not rule out — for the first time since the deaths came to light — the possibility of spurious liquor leading to the deaths.
“So far, it is not clear what exactly caused the deaths in Gopalganj. If it is due to the consumption of spurious countrymade liquor, as reported, the culprits will not be spared. The culprits will be punished as per the new excise law,” Nitish Kumar said.
The Patna Medical College and Hospital records, obtained by The Indian Express, mentioned that one of the patients had “bled from the eyes”– which is considered to be a common symptom of drinking spurious liquor. The district administration has launched a probe into the incident and said that they were investigating the allegations over the deaths that might have happened due to spurious liquor. Gopalganj also happens to be the home district of RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav who has said that people have to be more “vigilant” since “police checking is not possible everywhere.”
After the deaths, the administration has conducted massive raids and confiscated at least 300 litres of country liquor. The incident has become a major source of flak for Nitish Kumar’s government since it had enforced total prohibition in the state this April. The Bharatiya Janata Party has targeted Bihar CM saying that “Prohibition can be effective only when there is a rule of law.”
(with inputs from agencies)