Alok Mishra

Gopalganj: Senior BJP leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi ( SuMo) on Friday said that the Nitish Kumar government’s action after Gopalganj hooch tragedy is nothing but  sheer eyewash. “The state government is doing nothing but trying salvaging its image after the tragic incident,” he pointed out. Modi visited Gopalganj on Friday to inquire  into the incident.

Talking to mediapersons at Circuit House after meeting the family members of the victims, Modi said that Khajurbani is merely 1.5 km away from local Town police station and it has been the centre for brewing illicit liquor. He said that the state government claimed that raids were carried out at 667 places in the past four months across the state. Modi said that it is clear after his visit to the village that this illegal trade was flourishing under police patronage. “Surprisingly, even the top cops of the district never gave any attention to this particular village,” he said.

Modi said that 25 police personnel of Town police station have been placed under suspension after the hooch tragedy rocked the state. “Are senior police officers of the district not responsible for the tragic death of the people?” he questioned.

Modi said that Nitish Kumar government is trying to save senior officials of the district including DM, SP and officials of the Excise Department. He further charged the state government with trying to suppress the incident by suspending some officials.

Modi sought to know what action the Excise Department has taken against the liquor mafias. He said that he saw illegal liquor in Khajurbani after the incident. “What is the use of ban on liquor in the state when it is still being manufactured across the state on a largescale,” he asked adding that the officials of Excise Department have failed completely to implement the ban.

Modi, who visited the village, was shocked to know that the family members of those who died after consuming hooch were pressurized by the doctors and cops to take away the bodies and dispose them off. He reached the house of Ramji Sharma at Harkhua to have the first hand information. Family members of some of the deceased said that after the death of their dear ones, the doctors and the police started pressurizing them to take away the bodies and dispose them of  in a hurry as they might face action. Most of them said that some of the bodies were carried on bikes.

The family members of Dina Nath Manjhi alleged that Manjhi was admitted twice to the hospital when his condition deteriorated and he later died.The family members of Sobrati Mian claimed that the doctors advised them not take name of hooch though the truth was that he had drunk hooch. Modi also reached Shyam Cinema Road and Purani Chowk Nonia Tola and met the family members of few deceased. The family members of Hari Kishore Prasad said that this clandestine trade of hooch was flourishing at Khajurbanni for the past several years. They said that workers used to booze daily after finishing their jobs.

Janak Ram, MP, Subhash Singh, MLA, former legislators Ram Pravesh Rai, Indradev Manjhi and Gopalganj district BJP chief Brahmanand Rai,  and BJP leaders Ravi Prakash Mani Tripathi, Umesh Pradhan, Markandey Rai Sharma, Dipak Kumar Dipu, Vinod Singh, Anoop Kumar Srivastava, Manjit Kumar Singh and others accompanied Modi during his visit to different places in the district.


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