Seven dead in yet another fake liquor case in dry state

At least seven people have died and 15 others have been sickened, some of whom have lost their sight, in another suspected case of a hotchpotch tragedy in the dry spring, officials said Friday. According to Saran District Magistrate Rajesh Meena, all the cases have been reported from villages under Makar police station.

“Prima facie, it seems that the villagers had consumed fake liquor. Five people died here while two deaths occurred at the Patna Medical College and Hospital where the critically ill were referred on Thursday,” he said. The DM said that among the critically ill, more than 10 people have lost their sight.

Saran Superintendent of Police Santosh Kumar said, “We are conducting raids in Makar, Marhora and Bhildi police station areas to nab the suspected bootleggers. We will be able to tell the number of arrests after the operation is over.

Intoxicants like cannabis have been a tradition for the Nag Panchami festival, which fell earlier this week, although some people drank alcohol to get high, locals said.

More than 50 people have been killed in hotchpotch tragedies in the state since November last year. Saran had reported the death of five hatchlings in January this year. Last month, two people died after drinking spurious liquor in the state capital.

The Nitish Kumar government in Bihar had completely banned the sale and consumption of liquor in April 2016, following a campaign promise the chief minister had made to women in the state before the assembly elections last year.

However, the implementation of the draconian prohibition law has often been criticized by opposition parties, the courts and ruling allies like former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi.

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