New Delh: Union Minister RK Singh on Monday accused the Bihar government of hiding the death toll in the Saran hooch tragedy and said that the locals have informed him that nearly 200 people died in the district.
The Minister claimed that the people also informed him about burning of the bodies.
"They have been forced to say under pressure from the administration that these people died due to cold," Singh told ANI.
Hitting out at the Nitish Kumar government over the hooch tragedy, the Minister said that the administration has failed in the state and spurious liquor is being made in the state "openly".
"You are asking why the liquor ban is not implemented in the whole country. But why is the Nitish Kumar government not able to implement the decision you have taken? All the people who have died are poor. All the people who are in jail due to liquor prohibition are poor," he said.
The Minister further inquired about the number of people who have been arrested in the illegal liquor issue so far.
"The Bihar government is claiming that 72 people have died in Saran but the people of Chhapra told me that about 200 people died and the bodies were burnt. I want to ask the state government how many people have been arrested for making illicit liquor?" he said.
The Minister claimed that the Nitish Kumar government may have banned the sale of liquor in the state, but its "home delivery" is taking place.
"The Nitish Kumar government has banned liquor but home delivery is happening. Liquor is available in every place in Bihar. This is a complete failure and till date, no action has been taken against anyone. Bihar government should give compensation. Because of the failure of the administration, so many people have died. Action must be taken by the state government," he said.
"What will happen to those who are distributing spurious liquor? Nitish Kumar is saying that those who drink liquor will die, but my question is are those who will sell liquor exempted? The government system is making money. Will it continue to be exempted and will it continue to make money through liquor?" Singh asked.
In the Chhapra hooch tragedy, at least 80 people in the Saran district have died so far after allegedly consuming spurious liquor amid reports that the toll is expected to climb.
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