Death toll mounts to 65; Nitish says, no compensation for liquor death 


Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday said no compensation will be given if a person dies after consuming spurious liquor. 

The chief minister’s remark comes amid severe criticism from the Opposition, led by the BJP, in the wake of the rising hooch deaths in the Chhapra district. “No compensation will be provided to people who die after consuming spurious liquor. We have been appealing to you not to drink. If you drink, you will die. Those who speak against prohibition will not bring any good to the people,” the Bihar CM said in the Assembly on Friday. 

On Thursday, the chief minister told mediapersons, who had mobbed for comments on the rising hooch toll in Chhapra, said, “Those consuming spurious liquor will die.”

The CM has been fighting a firestorm of protests and Opposition attacks over his alleged failed liquor prohibition policy. 

Defending the liquor ban in Bihar, he had earlier said the state’s prohibition policy has seen many giving up drinking in the state. 

Meanwhile, the hooch toll in Chhapra district rose to 65 on Friday. 

Masrakh Station House Officer (SHO) Ritesh Mishra and constable Vikesh Tiwari were suspended immediately after the hooch deaths were reported first on Tuesday night. The suspensions were effected on the recommendation of Marhaura Sub-Divisional Police Officer Yogendra Kumar. 

Most deaths reportedly took place over Wednesday and Thursday, evoking an uproar both inside and outside the Bihar Assembly. 

The Opposition, led by the BJP, took on the ruling JD(U)-RJD combine over the rising hooch deaths despite a ban on the sale and consumption of liquor in the state, which has been in effect since April 2016.