At least five persons died and four others were hospitalised in Bihar’s Saran district on Friday after they drank spurious liquor, the Hindustan Times reported.

This was the second such incident in Saran this month and the third one this year. Last week, nine persons died and 17 others lost their eyesight in the district after drinking spurious liquor.

The sale and consumption of alcohol has been banned in Bihar since April 2016. However, there have been several instances of citizens dying and falling ill after drinking spurious liquor in the state.

Those who died on Friday have been identified as Mohammad Alauddin Khan, Kameshwar Mahto alias Loha, Ramjeevan alias Rajendra Ram, Rohit Singh and Papu Singh.

Ramnath, who is among those hospitalised, said that he had purchased liquor from a woman in the Muchkanpur village. Ramnath said he started to vomit after drinking the liquor, following which his family members took him to the hospital.

Union minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Giriraj Singh wrote on Twitter that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was “sacrificing the lives of gullible Biharis”.

Kumar on Tuesday broke the alliance between the Janata Dal (United) and the BJP. He took oath as chief minister of the state for the eighth time with support from the Rashtriya Janata Dal-led grand alliance

In March 2021, Bihar Prohibition, Excise and Registration Minister Sunil Kumar had told the Assembly that more than 3.46 lakh persons had been arrested in the state for violating the prohibition law, according to PTI.

He also said that till February 2021, government agencies had seized 53 lakh litres of country liquor and 97 lakh litres of Indian-made foreign liquor in the state.