The NHRC has issued a notice to the Bihar government, and the state’s police chief over several deaths due to consumption of spurious liquor in various districts of Bihar, officials said on Wednesday.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has sought reports from them in six weeks.
The NHRC has “taken suo motu cognisance of a media report on several deaths death due to consumption of spurious liquor in various districts of Bihar on 16th April, 2023 even as the reports of the deaths of those undergoing treatment in various hospitals are still coming,” it said in a statement.
Expressing serious concern over the reported hooch tragedy, the Commission has issued notices to the chief secretary and the Director General of Police.
The detailed reports sought should “include the status of the FIR registered by the police, medical treatment of the victims, who are hospitalised, and compensation if any, granted to the aggrieved families”. “The Commission would also like to know about the action taken against the delinquent officers, responsible for the tragedy,” the statement said.
Issuing a notice, the Commission has observed going by the content of the media report, if true, indicate that the state government, prima facie, is “not attentive enough” in the implementation of its policy of prohibition of sale and consumption of illicit or spurious liquor implemented in Bihar since April 2016.
“The unabated happening of incidents of liquor tragedy of this magnitude is a serious issue causing the violation of rights to life of vulnerable people,” it said.
It may be recalled that in December 2022 as well, several deaths were reported in a hooch tragedy in Bihar, and the Commission sent its own team for an on-the-spot investigation into the matter after taking suo motu cognisance of media reports. That case is already under consideration of the Commission, the statement said. The toll from the current hooch tragedy mounted to 31 on Tuesday, with five more people dying after consuming spurious alcohol on the intervening night of Friday and Saturday in Motihari, police have said.
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