Toxic hooch has killed at least 37 people in the eastern Indian state of Bihar, where alcohol is prohibited with unconfirmed estimates placing the death toll at over 70, news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported citing some official sources.
Toxic hooch has killed at least 37 people in the eastern Indian state of Bihar where alcohol is banned, officials said Saturday, with unconfirmed reports putting the death toll at over 70.
— AFP News Agency (@AFP)
Liquor sales and use are illegal in many regions of India, fueling a large illicit market for powerful and sometimes dangerous backstreet moonshine that kills hundreds each year.
People from numerous villages drank a locally manufactured drink known as “Mahua” or “Desi Daru” on Monday at a wedding and other occasions, according to families of the dead in the latest tragedy.
Many people began vomiting after complaining of stomach pain and eyesight loss. More than 20 people had died by Thursday, and a dozen were in serious condition in a hospital on Saturday.
“More than two dozen people have lost lives in the last 48 hours,” the official was quoted as saying by AFP, adding that 37 people had died thus far.
He was unable to corroborate reports in local media that 71 people had died.
In the previous three days, police have apprehended over 100 people in connection with illegal liquor manufacturing and sale, and 600 litres of alcohol have been seized.
Local authorities have been touting their use of drones, helicopters, and motorboats to combat the illicit market, but this is just the latest in a series of similar tragic incidents.
The Nitish Kumar government outlawed the sale and drinking of alcohol in Bihar in April 2016. Nonetheless, despite the ongoing crackdown on bootleggers, liquor smuggling remains unabated in the state.
BREAKING | बिहार-यूपी बार्डर पर खुलेआम बिक रही है शराब
– ग्राउंड जीरो से देखिए ये रिपोर्ट|
— ABP News (@ABPNews)
Vijay Kumar Sinha, the Leader of the Opposition in the Bihar Assembly, stated inside the Assembly on Friday that the hooch tragedy had “claimed more than 100 lives.” Sinha visited the damaged Mashrak block in Saran on Thursday.
Chirag Paswan, president of the Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas), questioned the state chief minister’s silence “Over 200 people have died. The truth is being suppressed. The last rituals were performed without a postmortem examination. Putting pressure on the family, it has been said that they must not state that alcohol was the cause of death, or they will be imprisoned. The CM’s silence is the support of corrupt authorities,” according to news agency ANI.
200 से ज्यादा लोगों की मृत्यु हुई है। सच दबाया जा रहा है। पोस्टमार्टम किए बिना अंतिम संस्कार करवाया गया। परिवार पर दवाब डालाते हुए बोला जा रहा है कि मत बोलो कि शराब से मृत्यु हुई है नहीं तो जेल भेज देंगे। CM की खामोशी भ्रष्ट अधिकारियों को समर्थन है: चिराग पासवान, LJP (रामविलास)
— ANI_HindiNews (@AHindinews)
On Friday, the National Human Rights Commission served notices on the Bihar government and the state’s police chief in connection with the Saran hooch tragedy.
(With Inputs From Agencies)