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Bihar hooch tragedy toll crossed 100, people performing last rites without post-mortem due to fear of police: Sushil Modi

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Sushil Modi Bihar Chhapra Hooch Tragedy
Image: PTI

Bharatiya Janata Party MP Sushil Modi on Sunday claimed that the family members of the victims in the Chapra hooch tragedy are performing their last rites without post-mortem due to “fear of the police”.

Modi also accused the state government of hiding the actual number of deaths in the tragedy and claimed “more than 100 deaths”.

“The death toll has crossed 100 but the government is hiding the numbers. Due to fear of the police, people are performing the last rites of their family members without a post-mortem,” Sushil Modi said while addressing the reporters here.

Modi on Saturday met the families of those who lost their lives in the Chhapra hooch tragedy. The death toll in Bihar’s Chhapra due to the consumption of spurious liquor has mounted to 65.

The incident was initially reported on Wednesday. Most deaths reportedly occurred over Wednesday and Thursday, evoking an uproar inside and outside the Bihar Assembly. Several leaders of the opposition are claiming more deaths than the official.

The Opposition, led by the BJP, took on the ruling JD(U)-RJD over the rising number of hooch deaths despite a ban on the sale and consumption of liquor in the state, which has been in effect since April 2016.

Amid severe criticism from the Opposition, led by the BJP, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday said that no compensation will be given if a person dies after consuming spurious liquor.

“No compensation will be provided to people who die after consuming spurious liquor. We have been appealing to you not to drink. If you drink, you will die. Those who speak against prohibition will not bring any good to the people,” the Bihar CM said in the Assembly on Friday.

Meanwhile, taking a suo-moto cognizance in this matter, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Saturday said that it will depute its own team headed by one of its members for an on-the-spot inquiry in the wake of more deaths reported in other districts of Bihar in hooch tragedy. The Commission said it is concerned to know where and what kind of medical treatment is being provided to these victims.

“Most of them are from poor families and probably cannot afford costly medical treatment in private hospitals therefore, it becomes extremely necessary on the part of the state government to provide them the best possible medical treatment wherever it is available,” the NHRC said in a statement.

The Commission has noted that in April 2016, the Government of Bihar had banned the sale and consumption of liquor in the state, and therefore, such incidents indicated that it has not been able to stop the sale of illicit and spurious liquor.

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