Representational image for death penalty (Image credit: Deccan Herald)

Bihar court sentences nine to death for Gopalganj liquor tragedy

Nine people, all belonging to Scheduled Castes, were on Friday (March 5) sentenced to death by the Additional District Judge-II Luv Kush Kumar in Bihar’s Gopalganj district for their involvement in liquor tragedy­ at Khajurbani village in the district in which 19 people lost their lives. Besides, six people lost their vision. The incident took place on August 16, 2016, that is just five and a half months after the imposition of prohibition in Bihar on April 1, 2016.

Besides, four women have also been sentenced to life imprisonment. Almost all of them come from Pasi (Toddy-seller) community which is categorised as Scheduled Caste in Bihar.

After the ban on the sale, manufacture, transportation and drinking of liquor many people, especially belonging to Pasi as well as Musahar (another SC), got engaged in illegal business of country-made liquor.

Those sentenced to death are Nagina Pasi, Chhathu Pasi, Kanhaiya Pasi, Lalbabu Pasi, Rajesh Kumar, Sanoj Kumar Pasi, Sanjay Pasi, Ranjit Chaudhary and Munna Chaudhary. The four women who got life imprisonment are Indu Devi, Rita Devi, Laljhari Devi and Kailasho Devi. There were in all 14 accused, but one of them died during trial.

The family members of those sentenced to death or convicted to life term told the media-persons that they would appeal to the High Court and are sure of justice. They said that all those sentenced by the court are innocent and have nothing to do with the tragedy.

This is the biggest court ruling against those engaged in illegal liquor business after the imposition of prohibition in the state.

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