The Bihar government has refused to give compensation to the families of the people who died after consuming illicit liquor in the state.

Liquor prohibition department minister Sunil Kumar clarified on Wednesday that there is no provision to provide compensation to the families of the people who died due to the consumption of liquor.

"Liquor is banned in Bihar. If any person consumes liquor, it is an illegal and criminal act. Hence, how could the state government compensate the deceaseds' families after their deaths due to the consumption of liquor," Kumar said.

The clarification from the cabinet minister comes after opposition leaders demanded adequate compensation to the families who lost their loved ones in liquor tragedies. The legislators of both the Houses in the Vidhan Sabha raised the issue. Due to the huge uproar, both the Houses were adjourned twice on Wednesday.

Kumar pointed out that the deaths had happened in Bhagalpur, Banka, Madhepura and Siwan districts since Holi but the police are suspecting only two deaths due to probable consumption of poisonous liquor in Bhagalpur district. The viscera reports of the victims are still awaited.

"Bihar government is not hiding facts. Whenever deaths due to liquor consumption take place in Bihar, we are taking action against the culprits. In Bhagalpur, we have arrested 5 persons and acted against the accused in Gopalganj as well. We are also taking departmental action against the police officers as well," he said.

"The opposition leaders generally work in their own way and level allegations against the state government. As far as deaths due to the consumption of so-called poisonous liquor are concerned, it is absolutely baseless. We are waiting for the viscera reports of two cases of Bhagalpur. Apart from that, the district administrations of Bhagalpur, Banka, Madhepura and Siwan have already submitted their reports to the home department and all of them died due to illness," Kumar said.

"The opposition is also blaming us for not conducting a postmortem. I want to point out that if the families of the deceased cremated the bodies before the arrival of the police, how could we do postmortems," he said.

In Bihar, 42 persons have lost their lives due to liquor consumption since Holi (March 18) including 22 in Bhagalpur, 12 in Banka, 3 in Madhepura and 5 in Siwan district.