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Express News Service
PATNA: As Bihar is moving closer to celebrate the 5th anniversary of total prohibition on April 5, the deaths of nearly 14 persons after allegedly consuming hooch in the last few days since the day of Holi, has sent the state government into a tizzy.

More than 8 persons have died after consuming hooch during the Holi celebration in Nawada district while other deaths were reported from Begusarai and Muzaffarpur. Officials of concerned districts did not admit the cause of deaths was consumption of spurious liquor but family members of many victims have admitted that alcohol was used by the deceased.

Parties in opposition have stepped up attacks on the state government for failure in prohibition citing the deaths while the state government sent a special team of officers from Patna for conducting a probe into the deaths.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar told the media on Friday that a special team was sent to Nawada where more hooch-related deaths were reported. “Action will be taken following the probe report. Senior Officers are also looking into the deaths”, Kumar told.

According to sources, eight persons were reported dead after consuming liquor at Gondpur and Kharidi Bigha villages in Nawada district and eight others were admitted in hospital after they fell ill during Holi on March 29 and 30. Locals have admitted that the deaths were caused by consuming liquor rampantly sold even amid the total prohibition. The deaths of others allegedly after consuming liquor were also reported from Muzaffarpur and Begusarai. Leader of Opposition Tejashwi Yadav taking a dig at Nitish Kumar-led NDA government said that many people had died after consuming liquor but the state government tries to hush up the cases by protecting the guilty officers.

In Begusarai’s Bakhari, two persons died after they consumed liquor but the district administration said that the deaths were due to pain in the abdomen.