The toll of dead in Bihar’s Chhapra Hooch tragedy has soared to 50, with 11 more people succumbing after consuming spurious liquor in Saran district.
Masrakh Station House Officer (SHO) Ritesh Mishra and Constable Vikesh Tiwari were suspended immediately after the Tuesday night tragedy on the recommendation of Marhaura Sub-Divisional Police Officer, Yogendra Kumar.
Most deaths have occurred over Wednesday and Thursday creating an uproar both at the state and national level as sale and consumption of alcohol have been banned in Bihar by the Nitish Kumar government since April 2016.
Nitish Kumar’s former ally, BJP, has come down heavily on him with MPs of the Bharatiya Janata Party from the state raising the issue in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, when questioned regarding the Chhapra Hooch tragedy, on Thursday told media that “if someone consumes liquor, they will die”, that has not gone down well with victim families among others.
“The liquor ban has benefitted several people. A large number of people have given up alcohol…This is good. Several people have happily accepted this. But there are some troublemakers. I have told officers to identify the actual troublemakers and nab them,” Kumar told the media in Patna.
Bihar Excise Minister Sunil Kumar have also promised stringent action against the culprits responsible for the deaths. “Process of filling an FIR is underway. I have spoken over the phone with SP,” Sunil Kumar had said on Wednesday.
Hours after the first few deaths were reported from Chhapra, the opposition had on Wednesday attacked the Bihar Chief Minister in the state assembly leading Kumar to lose his cool and scream back at the BJP leaders.
The Chhapra Hooch tragedy was one of the issues raised in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday, leading to the adjournment of the House thrice within a short span of 40 minutes as both the Treasury benches and the opposition raised their issues together with the commencement of the Zero Hour.