As Bihar hooch tragedy toll rises to 42, Nitish Kumar warns, ‘Jo piyega, woh marega’ | India News


PATNA: The death toll in Bihar’s latest hooch disaster Thursday swelled to 42, prompting the doggedly pro-prohibition CM, Nitish Kumar, to project it as a cautionary tale with a painful consequence: ” Joh piyega woh marega (Those who drink spurious liquor will die),” he said.
He said the deaths in Saran district since Tuesday, when a JD(U) MLA joined the ranks of those seeking a booze ban review, didn’t surprise him at all given Bihar’s history of such tragedies.
Nitish said he was ready to provide Rs 1 lakh to each family engaged in bootlegging to find legal livelihood means.
Staying firm on continuing the policy of prohibition in Bihar in the face of hooch deaths, CM Nitish Kumar said on Thursday that such tragedies should prompt people to visit the affected places and convince the villagers not to drink liquor.
“Last time, when people died after drinking spurious liquor, someone said they should be compensated. I said, ‘Wah!..’ If someone drinks illicit liquor, he will definitely die. Such deaths must be mourned; people should visit the affected villages and convince people not to drink. You all have seen what a big campaign I led across the state in favour of the liquor ban.”
The CM said that ever since the enforcement of total prohibition in April 2016, the state government had been warning people against the perils of dodging the ban and drinking hooch. “Prohibition is enforced here. Still, some people take wrong steps.”
Nitish claimed to have asked enforcement officials to spare the poor who may be engaging in bootlegging and instead go after those marshalling the illegal business. “People engaged in illegal manufacturing of liquor are the ones who must be caught,” he said. On the opposition BJP and even his allies favouring a review of the hooch ban, the CM said, “Prohibition has benefited a large number of people, forcing them to give up drinking. But there are some wrongdoers. I have told officers to identify the actual wrongdoers and nab them.”


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