Authorities recovered more than 550 litres of country liquor during a search operation in Khajurwani ward of Bihar's Gopalganj town in Bihar, where 16 persons died reportedly after consuming spurious alcohol. Gopalganj District Magistrate Rahul Kumar said a proposal to impose a collective fine on the residents of Khajurwani is with the Excise Department, which has been asked to determine the number of families involved in the preparation of country liquor, PTI reported.
Principal Secretary (Excise) KK Pathak said if the allegations of hooch are confirmed, the property of the culprits would be attached, as per the stringent new Liquor Law.
Moreover, three persons who were undergoing treatment at a government hospital after drinking the spurious liquor have lost their vision, IANS reported. Umesh Sinha, an official at the hospital said, "After examination of their retina, it is clear that three of the four persons [admitted] have permanently lost their vision." He added that vision loss is one of the most common side effects of methyl alcohol.
In a first instance of action being taken against police personnel after the total prohibition of liquor in Bihar on April 5, Gopalganj Superintendent of Police Ravi Ranjan Kumar suspended 25 police personnel for failing to effectively impose the ban. Santosh Kumar, the officer in-charge of the local town police station, said the main accused in the suspected hooch incident, Lalbabu Passi, had been arrested in Uttar Pradesh after he fled the state.