'If you drink, you'll die': Bihar CM Nitish Kumar on hooch tragedy deaths
The hooch tragedy in the dry state drew harsh criticism from the opposition parties when the BJP raised the issue in the state assembly. While the BJP sought answers from the state government, CM Nitish Kumar lost his cool and blamed the saffron camp for the deaths caused by alcohol consumption in the state.
According to the latest update, nearly 39 people have died after allegedly consuming spurious liquor in the Chhapra area of Bihar's Saran district. The Bharatiya Janata Party has been protesting against the JDU-RJD government in the assembly and outside for alleged laxity in enforcing prohibition. In 2015, the Chief Minister prohibited the sale of Alcohol and declared Bihar a dry state.
While commenting on the Chhapra hooch tragedy, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar asked people not to consume liquor. He also said, "If you drink, you will die."
On Thursday, while responding to a question referring to previous compensation claims, Kumar said (in Hindi), "Jo sharaab peeyega... vo toh marega hi na, udaharan saamne hai, Peeyoge toh maroge. (Those who consume liquor will surely die. An example is before us)." Adding that people should be alert.
In the assembly, Bharatiya Janata Party members demanded that the government compensate the hooch victims as the deaths were a direct consequence of six years of 'failed prohibition.'
The hooch tragedy in the dry state drew harsh criticism from the opposition parties on Wednesday when the BJP raised the issue in the state assembly. While the BJP sought answers from the state government, CM Nitish Kumar lost his cool and blamed the saffron camp for the deaths caused by alcohol consumption in the state.
"What happened to all of you? You're lying. What you're asking for and doing dirty politics. Remember what you used to say (in support of prohibition)?" Nitish said as he lost his cool.
He said, "You (BJP MLAs) are to blame for Bihar's hooch tragedies. We're all aware that you're doing the dirty work. I decided to part ways with you... and it was a wise decision. You're advocating for liquor in Bihar. It would be unacceptable."
According to BJP leader Vijay Kumar Sinha, the illegal supply of liquor is to blame for Bihar's law-and-order problems, as prohibition has spawned a new breed of criminal elements rather than curbing crime. Around 27 people were arrested as part of a district-wide crackdown on liquor smugglers.