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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Bihar hooch toll rises to 24 as 13 more die in West Champaran

Taking serious note of the back-to-back hooch incidents, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar asked the state police headquarters to investigate the matter. He said the government would review the situation after Chhath Puja which concludes on Nov 11.

By: Express News Service | Patna |
Updated: November 6, 2021 12:36:16 am
Grieving family members and relatives of victims who died after consuming spurious liquor in Bihar's Gopalganj. (PTI)

Twenty-four people in Bihar are suspected to have died after consuming spurious liquor as West Champaran district Friday reported 13 deaths after cases were initially seen in Gopalganj district.

The toll in Gopalganj rose from four to 11 on Friday. The deaths in West Champaran, meanwhile, occurred between Thursday and Friday in Nautan area.

Taking serious note of the back-to-back hooch incidents, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar asked the state police headquarters to investigate the matter. He said the government would review the situation after Chhath Puja which concludes on November 11.

West Champaran Superintendent of Police Upendranath Verma told reporters: “We have arrested two liquor traders and suspended the police station in-charge of Nautan. The postmortem report is awaited.”

Around a dozen people are being treated in Betia Sadar Hospital with complaints of vomiting, stomach ache, dizziness and blurred vision, he added.

Parmeshwar Yadav, the son of one of the victims, Maharaj Yadav, said his father had consumed the spurious liquor at the residence of a neighbour, Prakash Ram.

“My father had complained of uneasiness soon after he returned home on Thursday night. We took him to a local doctor but it did not help. He died on the way to Betia Sadar Hospital,” said Yadav.

All 13 victims in West Champaran were from Dakshini Teluhua village of Nautan. Local residents claimed 15 people had died after consuming the spurious liquor. SP Verma, however, said besides 13 deaths, one person died because of a heart attack.

In Gopalganj, the district administration has confirmed 11 deaths even as locals put the toll at 18.

In both districts, it is suspected that the spurious liquor was brought from the Gandak riverine belts, some parts of which are in Uttar Pradesh.

Opposition Leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav said: “The state government has failed to implement prohibition law. Illegal liquor trade continues unabated. We have been saying it all along that liquor ban is a sham.”

The Bihar Chief Minister said: “We will review the situation after Chhath. Both cases are thoroughly being investigated and the guilty will be punished.”

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