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Joint Opposition stages walkout from Rajya Sabha over 'misuse of NHRC' in Bihar hooch tragedy

New Delhi: Joint Opposition, led by Congress, on Tuesday, staged a walkout from the Rajya Sabha over misuse of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in the Bihar hooch tragedy. Several parliamentarians from parties belonging to Rashtriya Janata Dal, Janata Dal (United), Trinamool Congress, and the Congress walked out from the Upper House raising the issue when Zero Hour was being conducted.
Meanwhile, in the Lok Sabha today BJP MP Ravi Shankar Prasad and Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) MP Chirag Paswan raised the issue of the Bihar hooch tragedy.
The senior BJP MP said that an NHRC team should visit the state while Paswan demanded an imposition of President's Rule and a CBI probe.
In a press briefing held after the Opposition walked out of the House in Rajya Sabha, RJD leader Manoj Jha accused the BJP-led Central government of misusing the NHRC and using it as a "political tool" in Bihar hooch tragedy issue.
"NHRC is being used as a political tool in Bihar hooch tragedy issue," said Jha, adding "Prime Minster Narendra Modi's own state Gujarat faces hooch tragedy on every third month but the NHRC never visited there".
"NHRC neither visited to probe Morbi nor the killing of hundreds of people in Aligarh (Uttar Pradesh), Madhya Pradesh and Haryana. The entire Opposition walked out of the house in protest of 'partition role' of the NHRC," Jha said.
Trinamool Congress MP Dola Sen raised the issue linked to NHRC's action in Bihar hooch tragedy during Zero Hour of the House.
Addressing the briefing, Sen also said "it is a matter of sorrow that the NHRC did not go to Morbi (Gujarat) and Uttar Pradesh, it only likes to go to Bihar and West Bengal".
"Manoj Jha had submitted adjournment notice in the Rajya Sabha over the issues but it was not accepted...We raised the issue in the House and walked out," Sen said.
JD (U) leader Ramnath Thakur thanked the Opposition parties of raising the issue of misuse of NHRC in Bihar hooch tragedy issue.
The matter was raised following inputs that NHRC has decided to depute its own investigation team to conduct an "on-spot" inquiry into the Bihar hooch tragedy which has claimed over 60 lives.
The Commission wants to know where and what kind of medical treatment is being provided to these victims. Most of them are from poor families and probably cannot afford costly medical treatment in private hospitals. Therefore, it becomes extremely necessary on the part of the state government to provide them the best possible medical treatment wherever it is available, it has said in a statement.
"The Commission would like to know about the relief and rehabilitation given by the state government as well as the measures taken or proposed to be taken to dismantle clandestine hooch manufacturing hotspots across the state with a view to completely eradicate this social menace, intermittently happening in the state of Bihar," the rights panel has said.
The tragic incident was reported last week from Bihar's Saran district in which over 60 people were killed by consuming spurious liquor at a local joint. After the deaths, angry villagers blocked the Masrakh Hanuman Chowk on Bihar State Highway 90 and raised slogans against the district administration.
The incident triggered a political slugfest in the Bihar assembly, with opposition leaders mounting a strong attack on Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar over a spate of deaths due to consumption of illicit liquor in the state.
Later, an irate Nitish Kumar lost his cool in the assembly and snapped at opposition MLAs who targeted the government over prohibition in the state.
The Bihar chief minister on last Thursday again said the last time, when people died due to spurious liquor, someone said they should be compensated. "If someone consumes liquor, they'll die - example is before us. This should be condoled, those places should be visited and people be explained."
"Even when there was no liquor ban here, people died due to spurious liquor -even in other states. People should be alert. As there is a liquor ban here, something spurious will be sold due to which people die. Liquor is bad and shouldn't be consumed," Nitish has said.
Sale and consumption of alcohol were banned in Bihar by the Nitish Kumar government in April 2016. (ANI)

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