Suspected hooch claims 4 lives in dry Bihar
January 15, 2022  15:49
In yet another suspected hooch tragedy in dry Bihar, four persons have died here after allegedly consuming spurious liquor, triggering shock waves in the headquarters of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's home district of Nalanda, police said on Saturday.
The deceased, all of them in the age group of 50-55 years, belong to Chhoti Pahari and Pahar Talli localities in the Sohsarai Police Station area. Their families have claimed that they consumed liquor late on Friday, fell sick and died.
Bihar Sharif sub-divisional officer Kumar Anurag, who met the bereaved family members, insisted that "consumption of alcohol will be confirmed only after post mortem".
Ban on liquor sale and consumption was imposed in Bihar in April, 2016 though its efficacy has always been questionable.
Last year, around Deepawali, hooch tragedies claimed more than 40 lives in four districts.
One of these districts was West Champaran and on Friday a snide remark by a Janata Dal-United spokesman about Sanjay Jaiswal, the local MP, evoked a strong reaction from the latter who is also the state Bharatiya Janata Party president.
Jaiswal came out with a lengthy Facebook post, asserting that he took the attack as coming from the chief minister's party since his detractor Abhishek Jha was an official spokesman of the JD-U.
Jaiswal said he was strongly in favour of a "review" of the law against liquor which might have been well-intentioned but the implementation of which had brought a bad name to the state. 
He claimed to have personal knowledge of many instances in which people from other states had to suffer for carrying liquor though they were merely passing through Bihar.
Jaiswal had raised serious questions over the role of the police in the shoddy enforcement of prohibition law and said that the stringent provision of 10 years in prison ought to be reserved for men in uniform found complicit in illicit liquor business. -- PTI 
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