After consuming illicit liquor, eight people died in Bihar, and 25 others have been hospitalised.
The tragedy, the most recent in a string of similar deaths since the Bihar government outlawed alcohol in the state in 2016, has been recorded from Motihari’s Lakshmipur, Paharpur, and Harsiddhi blocks, about 150 km northwest of Patna, the state capital.
The BJP has targeted Chief Minister Nitish Kumar over a pattern of deaths linked to illicit liquor. Following the publication of a report by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on 40 deaths brought on due to poisonous alcohol in the state’s Saran district, the opposition party and Kumar recently engaged in a conflict. The reports blamed the administration for the deaths.
Tejashwi Yadav, the deputy chief minister, alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Centre had used the visit of the rights panel as propaganda to disparage the state government.
An enraged Nitish Kumar lost his calm as he railed at opposition MLAs who criticised the administration over prohibition in the state during a political brawl in the Bihar Assembly following the Saran deaths.
“If someone consumes liquor, they will die – the example is before us. This should be condoled, those places should be visited and people be explained,” Nitish Kumar had said.
“Even when there was no liquor ban here, people died due to spurious liquor – even in other states. People should be alert. As there is a liquor ban here, something spurious will be sold, due to which people die. Liquor is bad and shouldn’t be consumed,” he said in the Assembly.
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