August 28, 2016 1:29:41 am
THE GOPALGANJ district administration Saturday served notice and asked 23 residents of Khajurbani village in the district why community fine should not be imposed on them under provision of the new excise law in Bihar.
The notice comes days after the police seized a large quantity of country liquor from the village after the death of 16 people, allegedly the result of drinking spurious liquor. The victims had reportedly bought and consumed liquor in Khajurbani on the night of August 15. The deaths were reported between August 16 and 18.
District Magistrate Rahul Kumar said 23 villagers, including 14 named in the FIR, had been served notice. “We will scrutinise their answers and take a call on who should be fined, and the amount of the penalty,” he said.
The process may take two months, Kumar added.
At least half-a-dozen villages of the state have been either served notices on community fine, or are due to be served one, for the offence of recurrent sale, manufacture and consumption of liquor.
The Excise Department has also initiated process of confiscating property of all the 14 accused named in the FIR. The confiscation of property includes hundreds of palm and date trees. The government has not yet decided whether to cut those trees, since villagers are known to extract toddy from the fruit. Toddy is not covered under the prohibition law brought in by the Nitish Kumar government on April 1.
Police said Khajurbani residents Nagina Pasi and his brother Lal Babu Choudhary are the kingpins of the tragedy. “Nagina owns property worth more than Rs 5 crore and has links with important politicians,” a police source said.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.