Truck driver involved in Vaishali accident was drunk, say officials

The truck driver, who ploughed into a crowd of devotees at a roadside temple in Bihar’s Vaishali on Sunday night, leaving at least 12 dead and scores injured, has been found to be drunk at the time of the accident, officials said on Monday.

The district administration conducted the medical examination of the accused and the doctors have found 45 per cent alcohol in his blood.

The accident took place at Nayaganj Tola village under Deshri police station located on Hajipur-Mahnar national highway. The victims were assembled at Bhuiya Baba temple for Navtan Puja when a truck, being driven at high speed, mowed them before ending up hitting a tree.

Eight persons were killed on the spot and several others injured. Four of the injured persons succumbed due to injuries in the hospital.

The driver was also injured in that accident. He was rescued by the district administration and he is under treatment in Sadar hospital Hajipur under police protection.

Vaishali’s Superintendent of Police, Maneesh Kumar, said that action is being initiated against the driver and investigation is on.

In wake of the accident, a political spat broke out, with the BJP targeting Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

“Liquor is available on every Chowk of the rural and urban areas. Nitish Kumar has just closed his eyes to it. Due to liquor ban, people are consuming lower quality alcohol, driving vehicles and killing people like the fatal accident that took place in Vaishali. My heartfelt condolences to the family members of the deceased.

“Nitish Kumar is claiming a complete liquor ban in Bihar but this accident has proved it again that his claim is completely false. Liquor is available everywhere in Bihar,” BJP spokesperson Arvind Kumar Singh said.

Reacting on the statement, RJD’s Mritunjay Tiwari said: “The accident in Vaishali has shattered everyone in the country. The state government is working on it but BJP should not do politics on it.”

Earlier in the day, President Droupadi Murmu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar expressed deep condolences to the family members of the deceased. The state and Central government also gave an ex-gratia of Rs 4 and Rs 2 lakh respectively to the family members of the deceased.

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