Motihari hooch tragedy: Motihari Police have arrested 20 people and seized large quantities of spurious liquor from different villages in the region, following a suspected hooch tragedy that has claimed the lives of 14 people. According to officials, the death count could increase further as the condition of five individuals is reportedly critical.
A senior police officer confirmed that the arrests were made after searches were conducted in different localities of Motihari. The East Champaran district administration released a statement indicating that the 20 people were “involved in illegal trade of liquor” and that a total of 85.5 litres of country-made liquor and a huge quantity of Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) were recovered from their possession.
The tragedy came to light after police were informed that several villagers had died after allegedly consuming spurious liquor in Turkauliya, Harsiddhi, Sugauli, and Paharpur areas of the district on the intervening night of Friday and Saturday. Police teams were immediately sent to different hospitals in the city to investigate and gather information.
According to the report, after the death of four people in Lakshmipur of Turkauliya, their relatives said that on Thursday all the people had gone to Balganga of Raghunathpur for rosemary of wheat crop. After this, when these people came home for a liquor party in the evening, they slept at night saying that they had a headache. His health started deteriorating as soon as Friday morning. Immediately admitted to the hospital. After this one acre of these people died. It is alleged that poisonous liquor was supplied in the area and they died after drinking it.
The incident has raised concerns about the illegal sale and consumption of spurious liquor in the region, with authorities promising to take strict action against those involved in the trade.
Reacting to the suspected hooch tragedy, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had on Saturday said: “I have been maintaining that liquor is bad and shouldn’t be consumed. I have asked officials to take strict action against those who violate prohibition laws”.
The state government imposed a total ban on sale and consumption of alcohol on April 5, 2016.
Scores of people had died in the last major hooch tragedy at Saran district in December 2022.
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The incident has once again highlighted the need for stricter regulation and enforcement of laws governing the sale and consumption of liquor in Bihar.