26 dead in suspected hooch tragedy in Bihar, SHOs suspended and 80 arrested
Motihari/Patna, April 17: The death toll in a suspected hooch tragedy in Bihar's East Champaran district has risen to 26, with four more people losing their lives after consuming the spurious liquor in Motihari. Twenty more are currently undergoing treatment at Sadar and other hospitals in the district.
In response to the tragedy, the district police have suspended the SHOs of Turkauliya, Harsiddhi, Sugauli and Paharpur police stations and Raghunathpur outpost on the charge of dereliction of duties. Disciplinary action has also been taken against 11 police personnel, including nine chowkidars.
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The police have so far registered five cases and the investigation into the hooch tragedy is underway. They have also arrested 80 people for allegedly being involved in the illegal trade of liquor in the district. 370 litres of country-made liquor, 50 litres of spirit and 1,150 litres of other chemicals used in the manufacturing of spurious liquor were seized during searches at more than 600 places in different parts of Motihari.
The opposition BJP has labelled the hooch tragedy as a "mass murder by the Nitish Kumar government". They plan to approach the National Human Rights Commission and other such central bodies to conduct a "probe into the hooch tragedy".
The Nitish Kumar government had imposed a ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol on April 5, 2016, however incidents of smuggling of liquor continue to be reported from the state, notwithstanding the ongoing drive against bootleggers.
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- With inputs from agencies