While the political temperature is on the boil in Bihar over the Saran liquor tragedy, the toll has reached 57 till Friday afternoon, and sources apprehend that it may rise further as a number of victims are battling for their lives in hospitals. Maximum deaths happened in Masrakh block while a number of persons also died in Isuapur village.
The deceased are identified as Vijendra Rai, Harendra Ram, Ramji Shah, Amit Ranjan, Sanjay Singh, Kunal Singh, Ajay Giri, Mukesh Kumar, Bharat Ram, Jaydev Singh, Manoj Ram, Mangal Rai, Nasir Hussain, Ramesh Ram, Chandrama Ram, Vicky Mahto, Govind Rai, Lalan Ram, Prem Chandra Saha, Dinesh Thakur, Sitaram Rai, Viskwakarma Patel, Jay Prakash Singh, Suren Shah, Jatan Shah, Vikram Raj, Dashrath Mahto, Chandrashekher Shah, Jaglal Mahto, Anil Thakur, Ekrakul Haq, Shailendra Rai, Umesh Rai, Upendra Rai, Rangeela Mahto, Dudhnath Tiwari, Bharat Shah, Salauddin Mian, Surendra Singh, Jay Narayan Rai, Hareram Singh, Mohan Prasad Yadav, Kanhaiya Singh, Vicky Mahto, Ramesh Mahto, Mukesh Ram, Virendra Ram, Nathuni Ram, Brajesh Rai, Chamcham Shah, Kamlesh Shah, Prem Tiwari, Suraj Shah, Mithilesh Kumar, Manju Devi, Manoj Singh, and Hari Kishore Rai.
Meanwhile, the villagers have claimed that the spirits seized by Saran police and kept inside the police station were sold to the liquor mafia. Villagers also made some videos viral on the social media where the cap of bottles are open and the spirits are seen missing from it.
The investigating authorities have taken the samples from the spirit bottles and sent them to the lab for testing. The reports will be matched with the post-mortem reports of victims. Following the mass deaths, the National Human Rights Commission has served notice to the Bihar government after taking cognisance of the media reports.
It has said that the Bihar government banned liquor in Bihar but failed to implement the ban successfully. "The current situation in Saran is a big concern for us. Such a large number of deaths put a question mark on the liquor ban of Bihar government," the notice said.
It has asked the Chief Secretary and DGP of Bihar to submit the status report of the action being taken against the accused, medical treatment and FIRs. It has further asked them to submit reports about action being taken against the administrative officers for their lapses.