The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has decided to depute its own investigation team to conduct an "on-spot" inquiry into the Bihar hooch tragedy.
Officials said on Saturday that eight more died allegedly after consuming spurious liquor in two districts of Bihar. Six people died in Siwan district adjoining Saran, while Begusarai witnessed two other deaths.
Unconfirmed reports claimed that up to 60 people have died so far by drinking illicitly brewed country liquor in Saran district. However, officials have pegged the toll at 30.
In the wake of media reports about more deaths in the Bihar hooch tragedy, spreading to other districts, the NHRC said it "has decided to depute its own investigation team headed by one of its members for an on-spot inquiry".
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 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 said.
The NHRC has issued notices to the Bihar government and the state's police chief over the Saran hooch tragedy, officials had said on Friday.
The sale and consumption of alcohol was completely banned in Bihar in April 2016, though its "implementation has been patchy," the NHRC had observed.
Apparently, the reported incident "indicates the failure of the state government" on implementation of its policy of prohibition of sale and consumption of illicit or spurious liquor in the state, it said.