October 22, 2020

15 held guilty for hooch tragedy

Ara/Patna: A Bhojpur court on Tuesday found 15 persons guilty in connection with the death of 21 persons due to consumption of spurious liquor in 2012. The court will pronounce the quantum of punishment on July 26.

Additional district and session judge-I Ramesh Chandra Dwiwedi held all the 14 named accused in the case guilty under sections 272/34, 273/34, 304/34 of the IPC, Section 47 of the Excise Act and also under SC/ST Act. The 15th accused in the case, Bhashkar Sinha, was held guilty under Section 47 of the Excise Act.

Bhojpur public prosecutor Satyendra Kumar Singh said that the minimum punishment for the offences in which the accused have been held guilty was jail for 10 years and the maximum was life imprisonment.

All the persons pronounced guilty were sent to Ara district jail, around 54km west of Patna.

The Bhojpur district administration had made elaborate security arrangements on the civil court premises since morning in view of the delivery of judgment in the illicit liquor case.

Cops in plainclothes were also deployed in and around the court to keep a vigil on antisocial elements.

Bhojpur superintendent of police (SP) Awakash Kumar said that at least 21 persons belonging to the Mahadalit community, including five women, had died at Anaith locality under the jurisdiction of Nawada police station in the district after consuming illicit liquor on December 7, 2012.

The deaths happened over three consecutive days, and the incident had created ripples in the administrative and political circles.

The Opposition parties then has created uproarious scenes in the state Assembly over the death of the Mahadalits and demanded a fair investigation.

The police collected science evidences to corroborate the charges levelled against the accused. The cops had also seized a large quantity of liquor from the spot.

The SP said the police had brought 21 bodies to the Ara Sadar Hospital for post-mortem and so those many deaths were officially confirmed.

Two separate FIRs were lodged with the Nawada police station against 15 persons: Pappu Chaudhary, Manoj Yadav, Mohan Sah, Rakesh Kumar, Sanjay Singh, Gautam Kumar, Babloo, Sanjay Singh, Chini alias Chunnu, Anil Kumar, Chunnu Kumar, Nand Kishor Yadav, Bali and Bijay Kumar.

Police had arrested four unnamed accused, Manoj Sudhi of Mirganj, Upendra of Mathwalia, Sanjay Bahadur and Saroj Prasad of Anaith locality, and sent them to jail.

Later the police submitted the charge sheet in the court against those 15 persons on February 4, 2013.

Statements of 69 persons were registered in the court during the trial. A total of 51 witnesses were examined during the trial. The court had earlier fixed Monday to pronounce the verdict as the argument was complete in the case.

The SP said that the cops had sent to the police headquarter proposals of attachment of property of four liquor traders amounting to property around Rs 41 lakh of Sanjay Singh, Rs 1 crore of Rakesh Singh, Rs 18 lakh of Mantu Singh, and Rs 17 lakh of Bharat Yadav.

The SP hailed the verdict of the court. “We are alert and closely monitoring the development in the case,” he told The Telegraph over phone.

Liquor haul

Ara: Bhojpur police, acting on a tip-off, conducted raids at Makhdumpur village under Bihia police station on Tuesday and seized 100 cartons of India-made foreign liquor. The liquor smugglers, however, managed to give the cops the slip and escaped from the scene.

Bail for advocate

Patna: Special excise court judge Ramesh Chandra Malviya on Tuesday granted Patna High Court advocate Rishi Raj regular bail.

The Srikrishnapuri police had arrested Raj from near Anandpur on July 16 on the charge of consuming liquor.

Police also allegedly recovered a bottle of foreign liquor from his possession.

The cops had produced him in court on July 17, and the court had sent the advocate to jail.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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