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Hooch tragedy: Nitish makes U-turn, announces ex-gratia for victims' kin

The death toll at Motihari in East Champaran district rose to 26 on Monday, with four more people losing their lives after consuming the illicit liquor, police said

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar

Press Trust of India Patna

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Making a U-turn on paying compensation to the victims of hooch tragedies in dry Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday announced conditional payment of an ex gratia of Rs 4 lakh each to the next of kin of those who died after drinking spurious liquor.
The death toll at Motihari in East Champaran district rose to 26 on Monday, with four more people losing their lives after consuming the illicit liquor, police said.
We have decided to provide ex gratia of Rs 4 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased. But, the amount will only be given if their family members say in writing to the district magistrate concerned that the death took place after consuming illicit liquor. They will have to disclose the source from where the alcohol was procured, too, Kumar told reporters.
This is a reversal of his earlier stand that the family members of those who died after drinking hooch would be paid no compensation by his government.
After 26 people died in a hooch tragedy in December 2022, the chief minister had said Jo piyega woh marega (those who drink spurious alcohol will die), drawing flak from opposition parties and various other quarters.
However, Kumar changed his stance this time saying: I am deeply pained at what happened in Motihari I know that the majority of people who die in such incidents belong to the economically weaker sections Despite our best attempts, hooch incidents are taking place in the state and people are dying after consuming spurious liquor.
The compensation amount will be provided from the Chief Minister's Relief Fund, Kumar added.
The sale and consumption of alcohol were banned in Bihar since April 2016.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Apr 17 2023 | 6:26 PM IST

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