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Bihar hooch toll reaches 27 as one more dies

Motihari/Patna, Apr 18 (PTI) The death toll in a suspected hooch tragedy in Bihar’s East Champaran district rose to 27 on Tuesday with one more person losing his life after consuming the spurious liquor in Motihari, police said.

At least 20 others are battling for their lives at Sadar and different hospitals in the district, a senior officer said.

“The death toll has now mounted to 27. The district police have sent nine bodies for the post-mortem examinations. The police have so far registered five cases and arrested 174 people as part of the investigation into the matter,” said a statement issued by the district police late on Monday night.

The local administration has served notices to seven officials of the state prohibition department, seeking explanations from them in connection with the suspected hooch incident in the district.

Station House Officers of Turkauliya, Harsiddhi, Sugauli, Raghunathpur and Paharpur in Motihari, where deaths of people after allegedly consuming illicit liquor were first reported on April 15, were suspended for “dereliction of duties”.

Besides, disciplinary actions have already been taken against 11 more police personnel, including nine ‘chgowkidars’, the officer said.

Huge quantities of spurious liquor and other related chemicals have been seized during searches at more than 600 places in different parts of Motihari since April 15.

“The police have so far recovered 1,729.53 litres of country-made liquor, 50 litres of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) spirit and 2,220 litres of other chemicals used in the manufacturing of illicit alcohol during searches at different locations in the district,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had on Monday made a U-turn on paying compensation to the victims of hooch tragedies in dry Bihar and announced conditional payment of an ex gratia of Rs 4 lakh each to the next of kin of those who died after drinking spurious liquor since 2016 when the prohibition policy was launched.

The state government imposed a ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol on April 5, 2016. PTI COR PKD BDC BDC

This report is auto-generated from PTI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

Source: The Print

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