The National Human Rights Commission on Saturday said that it will depute its own team headed by one of its members for an on-the-spot investigation into the Bihar hooch tragedy.

The development came as the toll from drinking illicitly brewed country liquor rose to 70 in the state’s Saran district, reported the Hindustan Times, citing hospital records. The official toll, however, is 30. According to news reports, more residents also died in Siwan district adjoining Saran, and in Begusarai.

The sale and consumption of alcohol has been banned in Bihar since April 2016 under the Prohibition and Excise Act. However, in Saran district alone, nearly 50 persons have died in nine incidents this year due to illegally produced alcohol, popularly called hooch.

On Friday, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar came down heavily on those who drank liquor and said that no compensation will be given to the relatives of the deceased.

On Saturday, the National Human Rights Commission sought details about where and what kind of medical treatment is being provided to the victims.

“Most of them [patients] are from poor families and probably cannot afford costly medical treatment in private hospitals therefore, it becomes extremely necessary on the part of the state government to provide them the best possible medical treatment wherever it is available,” said the human rights body.

The commission also that it wants to know the measures taken by the Bihar government for the relief and rehabilitation of the persons who consumed spurious liquor, as well as the action taken to “dismantle clandestine hooch manufacturing hot spots” across the state.

The human rights commission directed the Bihar government to submit a report about the tragedy in four weeks. The report, the commission said, has to include “the status of medical treatment to the affected as many have lost eyesight; compensation given to the victims or their families, if any; FIR; and the action against the public servants found negligent in the matter”.

Government hiding actual toll: BJP MP

Bharatiya Janata Party MP and former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi claimed that the toll in the hooch tragedy has crossed 100 but the government was hiding the actual numbers, ANI reported.

“Yesterday, I met the families of those who lost their lives in Chhapra hooch tragedy,” he said. “Due to fear of police, people are performing last rites of their family members without postmortem.”