Nitish Kumar today denied the possibility of compensating families of people killed by spurious liquor, and said people should be “more vigilant” since the state has been under prohibition since 2016.
There have been at least 30 deaths in Chhapra town of Saran district in the most recent tragedy, and the JDU-RJD government has faced protests from the BJP over alleged laxity in enforcing prohibition.
“Jo sharaab peeyega, wo toh marega hi na… Udaharan saamne hai – peeyoge toh maroge,” Mr Kumar said in Hindi, referring to compensation demands in the past:
In the Vidhan Sabha, Nitish Kumar lost his cool over the protests and threw a “you’re drunk” jab at BJP members.
Grief should indeed be expressed, and then people should be made aware of the situation by visiting the affected areas. Responding to a question in Patna, he said, “We have been running massive social awareness programmes.”
You know what Bapu (Mahatma Gandhi) has said (in favour of prohibition), and what research around the world shows – all of that has been sent to people’s homes – about how alcohol is a bad thing, and how many people die as a result of it. “There have been deaths due to toxic (spurious) liquor for many years, and it occurs across the country,” he said.
In spite of prohibition, people died from toxic liquor even when there was no prohibition. He added, “People have died in huge numbers in other states as well.”
In recent years, similar deaths have occurred in Gujarat, another prohibition state, and Punjab.
He continued, “We have taken strict action against toxic liquor. But people need to be more vigilant. When there is prohibition, the liquor being sold is obviously dangerous.”
The majority of people support the prohibition policy. However, some people will make mistakes,” he said.
Presently, Bihar is one of two states with prohibition, the other being Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
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