Nitish Kumar ‘Jo Piyega Wo Marega’ may come back to haunt him

Even as the hooch tragedy in Bihar’s Saran district that claimed 73 lives sparked a blame game between the Grand Alliance and the lone opposition BJP, JD(U) President and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s “Jo Piyega Woh Marega” remark may come back to haunt him.

While the seven party government in the state is claiming that the BJP is using constitutional institutions for its political interests, the saffron party termed the Nitish Kumar government as being insensitive towards the common man.

Taking on the state government, Nikhil Anand, national general secretary of BJP’s OBC wing and party spokesperson, said: “The hooch tragedy is a clear failure of the Nitish government and common people are its victims. Many of the deceased were sole earners of the family. The government machinery has failed to stop illegal operations of the liquor mafia.

“Threat of starvation is looming over families of those killed in the hooch tragedy. On the top of that, the chief minister of state is saying ‘Jo Piyega Wo Marega’. The state government refused to give compensation to the dependents of the victims. What is the fault of the families which lost their breadwinners.”

Anand said: “The state government is claiming that only 42 deaths occurred due to hooch, which means that the authorities have conducted post-mortem examinations of only 42 bodies. The local villages claimed over 200 persons lost their lives in the tragedy and were cremated near railway lines, adjoining to roads and other places as they were allegedly pressurised by local police.

“What happened to those victims who were not recognised by the state government? Many of the victims did not have the money to cremate the bodies. The state government, which used to provide Rs 3,000 to the families who could not afford cremation of the bodies under Kabir Antesthi Yojana, did not even gave that to the families of hooch tragedy victims.

“The Nitish Kumar government is hiding the numbers. It is a clear violation of human rights and hence NHRC is investigating the incident to find out the actual numbers of deceased,” he said.

“CM Nitish Kumar, Tejashwi Yadav and other leaders of grand alliance are alleging that why NHRC team did not go to Gujarat, MP, Haryana and Karnataka? Comparing hooch tragedies in other states with the one in Bihar is not justified. The Bihar government should accept its failure.”

Sources said that NHRC teams have prepared the list of deceased who were sole bread earners of their respective families, their financial status, number of children who lost their fathers and now reached a stage of starvation.

Abhishek Jha, the national spokesperson of JD(U) told IANS: “NHRC has a basic principle to protect human right violation in the country. In Bihar, there is no such violation of human rights. Hence, its investigation is not needed here.”

“BJP in the last eight years has used constitutional bodies for its vested interest. Why has it not gone in other states where massive tragedies had happened in the past. It is an effort to build an atmosphere against the grand alliance government in Bihar and prepare a ground for future elections,” Jha said.

RJD spokesperson Mritunjay Tiwari told IANS: “Everyone knows how the BJP misuses constitutional institutions for its political interests. The Narendra Modi government has been using CBI, ED, Income tax and other authorities to target political opponents.

“The NHRC investigation is underway on the same line to defame the Bihar government. It could be a bigger plan to declare that human right violation is taking place at a big scale and plan a roadmap for imposing the President’s Rule in the state.”

Jagadanand Singh, the state president of RJD, told IANS that he will comment on the issue only after the NHRC’s report appears in public domain.

The Nitish Kumar government is firm on not giving the compensations to those who violated the liquor prohibition norms.

In what appears to be an image building effort, for the last couple of days, Tejashwi Yadav can be seen distributing blankets to people in night shelters or those sleeping on roads.

As two teams of NHRC are investigating in Saran, the state government is also on the toes and trying to establish the substances used in the manufacturing of liquor.

“During investigation, we have detected that a certain type of chemical was used in making of liquor. Our investigating teams have collected the samples and it will be matched with the chemical found in the viscera reports of deceased. Then we can reach a conclusion that the liquor got poisonous due to that chemical,” said Jitendra Singh Gangwar, ADGP headquarters.

“We have arrested 153 persons who were involved in either liquor manufacturing or selling it in the district,” he said.




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