If you drink, you will die: Nitish Kumar repeats appeal after Chhapra hooch tragedy

Bihar Hooch Tragedy Spurious Liquor  Nitish Kumar
Image: PTI

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday reiterated that those who will drink spurious liquor would die. “No compensation will be given to people who died after drinking…We have been appealing- if you drink, you will die…those who talk in favour of drinking will not bring any good to you…”, said Nitish Kumar in the state assembly on Friday.

Earlier on Thursday, Nitish Kumar told media persons waiting for his reaction on the deaths in the Chhapra hooch tragedy that if “someone consumes spurious liquor, they will die” as he came under heavy pressure on his alleged failed excise policy.

Defending the liquor ban in Bihar, he had said that the state’s prohibition policy has benefitted several people and a large number of people have given up drinking alcohol due to his measures.

The death toll 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, have 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.

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.