At least 13 people have died in Bihar’s Gopalgunj district, suspectedly after consuming spurious liquor, where prohibition was implemented in April. All the victims passed away while undergoing treatment at Sadar hospital in Gopalgunj.
“Thirteen persons have died so far. The deaths have been reported from different areas of five police stations of the district in the past 24 hours. One person is admitted at a Sadar hospital,” said Rahul Kumar, District Magistrate, Gopalganj.
The incident took place in Harkhua Khajurbani locality in Gopalganj town. After consuming liquor, locals started complaining of stomach pain and began vomiting. Soon they were rushed to the hospital for treatment. Few victims were also taken to a private hospital in neighboring Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh for treatment. While undergoing treatment, five people died by late evening and overnight eight more deaths took place, raising the death toll to 13.
On Wednesday, when the death toll rose to 13, the administration immediately constituted a three-member committee to probe the deaths.
JD(U) spokesperson Neeraj Kumar has also denied the Gopalganj incident is a hooch tragedy.
The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has targeted the Chief Minister for the tragedy. Senior BJP leader Nand Kishore Yadav said: “If there is total ban on liquor in Bihar, how come the poor are dying after consuming it? The Nitish Kumar-led government has failed to enforce liquor ban.”
The incident has exposed that despite total prohibition on liquor consumption in Bihar since April 5 this year, alcohol is available in the black market.
Additional Director General of Police Sunil Kumar said at least 4,707 people were arrested during the last four months and 3,719 FIRs were lodged in connection with flouting of the liquor ban.