Law Kumar Mishra
Patna: As the death toll in the Gopalganj liquor tragedy rose to 16, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and RJD president Lalu Prasad contradicted the claim of the excise department that no trace of liquor was found in the post- mortem reports of the victims. Lalu said the government should rely on the statements of the family members and survivors who have alleged illicit liquor caused deaths.There is total prohibition in Bihar since April 5, 2016
Nitish said on Thursday prima facie,it appears, the spurious liquor or some adulterated drink caused deaths. Reports of post- mortem are not final, he said and added since they had consumed liquor on August 15 and died on August 17, the post- mortem could not confirm presence of liquor.They had vomitted too before being admitted to the hospital so the liquor impact might have evaporated, the CM said and disputed the claim of excise department that no trace of liquor was found and they might have died after consuming sulphas tablets.
Nitish said he has asked for preservation of viscera of the deceased and would wait for its report and the court has been requested to pass an appropriate order. The chief minister said, “My hunch is they died due to spurious liquor.” Gopalganj DM Rahul Kumar too said deaths took place due to spurious liquor.
K K Mandal,assistant excise commissioner who is official spokesman of the Excise and Prohibition department, in a press note on Wednesday had claimed no alcohol was found in the autopsy of eight people. Six were cremated before police could take the bodies under their custody, Mandal had said.