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The Times of India
The Times of India

More than 80% people supported liquor ban in Bihar in a survey conducted by CNLU, says prohibition minister

PATNA: Bihar’s prohibition, excise and registration minister Sunil Kumar on Monday said that more than 80% people, especially women, who took part in a survey, have supported the state government’s decision of liquor ban.

Talking to media persons in the assembly premises here, the minister said, “A survey on the impact of prohibition was carried out by the Chanakya National law University. As per the survey report, more than 80% people, especially women, supported the state government’s decision to ban liquor.” He said the majority of people in the state are still in favour of the liquor ban.

Sunil, a former IPS officer who served in the rank of director general of police (DGP) in Bihar before joining politics ahead of 2020 assembly polls and winning Bhore assembly seat as JD(U) candidate, also said that the number of people who died after consuming spurious liquor in Saran district is only 38 and the higher death figures quoted by the BJP leaders were “misleading.”

A section of BJP leaders including its Rajya Sabha member Sushil Kumar Modi recently claimed that the number of hooch death in Saran district has “crossed over 100.”

The minister, however, said that the state administration may revise the death figures “if we get any additional information from district authorities after proper verification.”

To a question, Sunil also rubbished the BJP's contention that ex-gratia be paid to family members of the people who died after consuming spurious liquor. “Neither the Indian Penal Code (IPC) nor the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) provides for compensation to a person accused of a crime. Consuming any type of liquor is illegal under the existing prohibition law in the state,” the minister said.

He also said that the compensation provided to victims of a hooch tragedy in Gopalganj in 2016 was through recovery made from those who were convicted in that case. That is the provision under the law. “The state government cannot immediately release ex-gratia in the recent cases of Saran district,” Sunil said.

On being asked that the CPI-ML which supports the government from outside, also have been demanding compensation to the next kin of the people who died after consuming spurious liquor, the minister said the CPI-ML lawmakers should desist from raising such demand.

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