Patna | Jagran News Desk: Sixteen people lost their lives in an alleged hooch tragedy in Bihar’s West Champaran. Police said that the deceased individuals consumed illicit liquor. Reports add that eight of these deaths were reported on Friday while the other eight died during the course of Wednesday and Thursday.

The sale and consumption of liquor is banned in Bihar since April 2016.

West Champaran district administration late on Friday evening released a statement in which they said that of the eight deaths reported on Friday, family members of five accepted the consumption of spurious liquor by their deceased kin whereas the other four denied any liquor consumption by their deceased kin.

“In the course of the investigation, the family members of four deceased accepted the death occurred owing to the consumption of spurious liquor. However, family members of four other deceased denied liquor consumption. They, however, did not furnish any medical documents about any ailments either,” the release stated.

Police registered a case in which two men identified as Thug Shah and Suresh Shah have been named as accused.

“Accused Thug Sah’s son, Sumit, has been arrested, while two local chowkidars have been suspended,” West Champaran’s district administration’s press release added. 

According to a Hindustan Times report, the police on Friday picked up at least five people, including two women, for interrogation in connection with the deaths.

Closely monitoring the situation, says Deputy CM as RJD’s Lalu Yadav hits out at Nitish

Bihar’s Deputy Chief Minister Renu Devi while reacting on the alleged hooch tragedy said that the authorities are closely monitoring the situation.

“The investigation is underway. Officers concerned are working on it. The locals are not ready to talk about it. We are closely monitoring the situation,” Bihar Deputy CM Renu Devi was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

The incident also led to sharp reaction from Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president Lalu Prasad Yadav, who went all out against Nitish Kumar on liquor ban and called the alleged hooch tragedy as a product of good governance.

“In Bihar, thousands of people are dying every year from spurious liquor under good governance. Under the garb of prohibition, ruling party people are running a parallel illegal economy of Rs 20,000 crores in Bihar. Lakhs of Dalits and poor are lodged in jails in the name of prohibition. Police have become corrupt and tyrannical," Lalu Prasad Yadav wrote on Twitter.

Posted By: Mukul Sharma