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Gopalganj’s Hooch Tragedy: 25 Of Bihar’s Cops Suspended Unceremoniously


As a result of the ongoing investigations into the sixteen mysterious deaths in Bihar's Gopalganj district , 25 policemen of the local police force have been suspended for dereliction of duty. The district also saw the arrest of 6 people along with first Information Reports being filed against 14 people. The deaths were initially considered as mysterious as the autopsy reports did not highlight any traces of liquor in certain bodies but the state government however clarified that the deaths were indeed a case of consumption of poisonous liquor.

Chief minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar has been placed in a tight spot. He has been known to constantly attack the governments of Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh for not co-operating in enforcing Bihar's ban on liquor. He has said that the incident would be taken seriously. Nitish Kumar has said “No final decision can be taken on the basis of autopsy report.It is possible that consumption of spurious liquor may be one of the reasons. Viscera are preserved in this case.”

As of now the cause of deaths is mainly thought to be the consumption of spurious liquor. Khajurbani is a settlement of Mahadalit Pasis and some OBC groups. the people here use a flower, Mahua, to brew illicit liquor. Most of the 16 who died in the suspected hooch tragedy are said to have consumed liquor from this area on the night of August 15.

The police while conducting raids, seized at least 300 litres of country liquor. Most of the liquor was well hidden, with markers to help the residents identify the hidey-holes. Bihar also has a problem of liquor flowing in from Haryana, through the UP border. At least three people involved in smuggling IMFL into the area are reported to have political connections. According to residents of Khajurbani there has been no police raid, since the imposition of the liquor ban in April this year. The police are thought to be extremely friendly with locals and the liquor consumers, leading to the suspension of twenty five members of the force for dereliction of duty.

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