Death toll touches 8 in Gopalganj hooch tragedy
Patna, Nov 4 (IANS) With six more people succumbing, the death toll in the Gopalganj hooch tragedy rose to eight till Thursday morning.
According to an official, while four persons have lost their eyesight, several others are seriously ill and undergoing treatment in hospitals of Motihari in East Champaran district.
Meanwhile, state Mining and Geology Minister and BJP MLA of Gopalganj Janak Ram courted controversy when he termed the tragedy a "conspiracy" by the opposition to avenge Nitish Kaumar's victory in the bypolls.
"People who died in liquor tragedy in Gopalganj belong to the BPL families. They were killed due to conspiracy of opposition party leaders to defame Nitish Kumar government.
They did the hatred conspiracy at the occasion of Diwali and Chhath festival. The state government will take stringent action against the accused," Janak Ram said on Thursday.
The incident occurred in Mohammadpur village under the same police station on Tuesday evening.
Gopalganj district magistrate Dr Nawal Kishore Chaudhary said that the deaths happened under mysterious circumstances.
"We have collected the samples from the victims' houses and sent them to the forensic lab for testing. We are also waiting for the post-mortem report of the deceased," Chaudhary said.
Four people were held in the connection.
Sanjiv Kumar, the SDPO of Gopalganj (Sadar) and Rakesh Kumar, excise superintendent of Gopalganj raided the village.
"The arrested persons are part of a liquor selling racket. The main accused Chathu Ram is absconding while his partner Mahesh Ram died after consuming poisonous liquor. We have recovered liquor packets (Pouch) followed by initiating sealing of their houses," Sanjiv Kumar said.
Umrawati Devi, the mother of one of the deceased Santosh Shah said, "He had consumed liquor on Tuesday evening and fell ill. We took him to the hospital where he died during the treatment."
The other deceased were identified as Chotelal Shah, Mukesh Ram, Rambabu Yadav, Chunnu Pandey, Yogendra Ram, Mewalal Shah and one other.