Bihar: 16 people died in two days; hooch suspected

Bettiah: At least 16 people have died at a remote village of Bihar in the last couple of days, in a suspected case of hooch tragedy in the state that went dry six years ago.

According to a statement issued by the administration of West Champaran district, headquartered here, family members of only four of the deceased have confirmed consumption of liquor prior to death.

Two persons appear to have died of diseases, as suggested by documents produced by family members, while kin of the remaining 10 were non-committal about the possible cause of death.

All deaths have taken place at Deurva village under Lauria police station area.

Eight had died on Thursday while an equal number of deaths were reported on the following day.

Five persons, including Sumit (22), the son of Thag Sah who is said to be involved in illicit liquor trade, have been arrested in connection with an FIR that was registered on the basis of statement given by a relative of 36 years old Mumtaz Miyan, who is undergoing treatment at a private hospital after he fell ill upon consuming spurious liquor.

Sale and consumption of liquor was completely banned by the Nitish Kumar government in April, 2016.

The state has enacted a stringent prohibition law which also includes penal action against those from whose premises alcohol is recovered.

According to the statement issued by the administration, an appeal has been made by District Magistrate Kundan Kumar to the villagers to “come out and share all information without fear” with regard to the “mysterious” deaths.