2 Bihar labourers die in ‘hooch poisoning’

Two labourers died on Wednesday and another fell critically ill after they consumed country-made poisonous liquor in Bihar’s Gopalganj district.

The incident took place in Majholia village, the Vijaypur police station official said. The deceased were identified as Budhwa, 45, and Karma, 50, both native of Jharkhand’s Gumla district. They were employed as labourers in brick kilns of one, Narsingh Shah.

After doctors said the deaths were due to consumption of poisonous liquor, the entire police and civil administration of the district went into a tizzy, especially after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s curt advisory against breaking of prohibition laws in the state.

During the probe, the deceased’s family members claimed that both had consumed country-made liquor on Tuesday evening. The third victim, though critically ill, is reported to have disappeared from the Majholia village in fear of police action as there is liquor prohibition in the state.

On Wednesday morning, Budhwa and Karma complained of abdominal pain. They were taken to nearby Bhore Referal hospital but the doctors there referred to Gopalganj Sadar hospital. Both died on the way to Sadar hospital.

Prasant Kumar, SHO of town police station was one of the officers, who reached the Sadar hospital. “We are investigating the matter and waiting for the post-mortem reports, which will make the situation clear,” Kumar said.

Bihar is one of the state where liquor sale and consumption is completely banned since 2016. Nitish Kumar has directed officials to take strict action against liquor traders, consumers and mafias. He had given special instructions to terminate the service of police personnel if they were caught drunk.