Seven persons died and several others were undergoing treatment in Bihar’s Saran district after they consumed spurious liquor, the Hindustan Times reported on Wednesday.
They consumed liquor at a local joint and fell ill after returning home, according to PTI.
According to the police, while five persons died on Tuesday, two lost their lives on Wednesday. Some media reports suggest the toll has gone up to 17, but the police have not confirmed yet.
The deceased have been identified as Bichendra Rai, Harendra Ram, Ramji Shah, Amit Ranjan Sinha, Sanjay Singh, Kunal Singh and Mukesh Sharma, according to the Hindustan Times.
Their family members claimed that more than 15 persons had consumed country-made liquor in the district’s Doyla village on Tuesday.
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.
In Saran district alone, nearly 50 persons have died in nine hooch incidents, according to the newspaper.
The incident in the district also caused an uproar in the state’s legislative assembly on Wednesday.
The Bharatiya Janata Party, which is in the Opposition, said that the incident reflects the “complete failure” of liquor prohibition in the state, PTI reported.
The MLAs of the saffron party also staged a demonstration outside the Assembly, alleging that there exists a nexus between police and illicit liquor traders in Bihar.
“We have always supported the ban on liquor, even when it was introduced while we were in opposition,” former deputy chief minister Tarkishor Prasad said, according to PTI. “But its implementation has been a complete failure.”
Meanwhile, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish lost his cool after allegations were raised in the Assembly. “You are drunk,” he was seen shouting at the BJP MLAs.