JANAKPUR, March 16: The death toll from last week’s hooch tragedy in Dhanusha district rose to 18 on Sunday, with more than two dozen others still undergoing treatment at hospitals.
During the Holi festival last week, the locals had consumed spurious liquor at Ramdaiya tole in the district, according to police.
Thirteen of those who died after drinking the moonshine were from Ramdaiya in Kshireshwarnath Municipality and four were from Musahari in Janakpurdham Sub-Metropolitan City-7 and one was from Lachhumaniya of Dhanusha.
Likewise, six others from Ramdaiya, and 22 from Janakpur are still undergoing treatment at several hospitals.
The deceased have been identified as Satrughna Mandal, 47, Sridev Yadav, 55, Indrajeet Mahara, 25, Bramhadev Yadav, 35, Ram Bilas Mandal, 40, Gudari Mahara, 65, Ram Narayan Mahara, 36, Raju Mahara, 30, and Ram Prasad Yadav, 50. Likewise, another deceased, Ratan Das, 55, was from Lachhumaniya.
Similarly, four victims from Musahari have been identified as Mithila Sada, Banarasi Devi Sada, Jhagaru Sada and Jitendra Sada.
Likewise, four others – Bijaya Sada, Rasmati Sada, Jhurak Sada and Ranjit Yadav – also from Ramdaiya succumbed after drinking the moonshine.
However, police were informed about the four deaths only after their final rites were performed.
“We [police] can’t say whether they died drinking poisoned alcohol. Police were informed about their death only after the final rites were performed,” said DSP Rameshwar Karki.
In the meantime, several others who had also drank the same moonshine during the Holi festival are terrified and have started visiting hospitals for health checkup. In the course of four days – from Thursday to Sunday – at least two dozen drinkers have been admitted to the Janakpur Zonal Hospital.
According to Dr Nagendra Yadav, medical superintendent of the hospital, their condition is normal.
“There is nothing wrong with them but they are extremely terrified following the deaths. We [hospital] will discharge them after necessary treatment and counseling,” he added.
Police have intensified their crackdown on the sale and consumption of illegal liquor in the district.
On Saturday, police arrested seven persons for selling moonshine. Those arrested are Jagat Narayan Mandal, Nabin Yadav, Chathiya Devi Mandal, Jaya Kumar Yadav, Sital Devi Yadav, Ghuran Yadav, and Ram Nandan Sah.
Almost two years ago, seven persons had died after consuming moonshine at Kamala Municipality-6 in Dhanusha.