More Liquor Deaths in Bihar

A CPIML team went to Motihari to investigate the deaths of people because of illicit liquor. Some facts about a nexus came to light and the party has demanded investigation into the close relationship between the mafia with local BJP MP and MLAs in Sugauli. The liquor mafia uses innocent poor as their cannon fodder and saves their backs. 

Bihar CM has announced Rs. 4 lakh compensation for the families of victims of this illicit hooch tragedy that occurred on 13 April. He had denied such compensation in earlier deaths in the past. Those killed are victims of a system and their families deserve full rehabilitation by the state. Moreover, the poor are the most vulnerable in these incidents, while actual liquor mafia and their protection by politicians, police and administration officials have never been caught and jailed. The state government has failed to curb the flourishing illegal liquor trade in the state. 

CPIML Bihar secretary Kunal said that our party has been demanding release and rehabilitation of all poor, lakhs of them, jailed under Prohibition law in Bihar. They should not be treated as criminals, on the contrary they deserve our compassion and full support. There is a need to build rehabilitation centres in every block of the state, at the state’s expense. 

Dozens of villages in East Champaran saw deaths by illegal liquor. CPIML MLA from Sikta led a team that visited many affected people in these villages. The team met Dhiran Ram whose father Ganesh Ram died of liquor. He had taken his father to the hospital but the latter succumbed before he could be admitted. His body was brought back to the village without a post-mortem. Police came much later to inquire about the incident. 

In Gidha village of Sugauli block six people have died while eight more were admitted in various hospitals. The members of this team witnessed the dead bodies of Buniyad Paswan and Amardev Mahato, residents of Tola Kauvaha. Local people said that the Gidha village has been a major centre of liquor sale. 

Other two villages, Mehva and Semara, are also well known for illicit liquor supply for a large area. A mukhiya of a village said that the big bosses in liquor business manage the administration while their retail vendors establish a reign of terror in the villages. When some locals six months ago tried to complain through a public petition they were harassed and stopped by the goons who enjoy impunity. After so many deaths, the mafia trying to suppress the facts by intimidating people and telling them to say that the deaths happened due to some disease. The post mortem was not done of dead bodies in many cases and their cremation was carried out quickly. 

Similar tales were heard in many more villages including Dhawahi, Gokhula, Jaisinghpur, Kauvahaha Laxmipur. 

So far nearly 25 deaths had taken place but the post-mortem was performed for only three. More than 50 were undergoing hospitalisation, many of them in serious condition. 

The poor are unemployed in large numbers in villages and they are vulnerable to get lured in the illegal liquor trade by the big bosses. The police is now ignoring the real perpetrators. This trade is big source amassing money at the cost of innocent lives. The main suspects are not being touched by the police, they were frequently seen with the local MP and MLAs, many of them even worked for them during elections. 

The CPIML has demanded a high level probe, compensation to the families, holding district administration accountable for illicit liquor trade and resultant deaths, increasing employment opportunities in villages, and protection for the people who expose and oppose illegal liquor sellers in their village.