The tragedy took place on 16 August 2016 in Khajurbani area of Gopalganj, Bihar.
Nine people were sentenced to life imprisonment on Friday by Additional District Judge-2 Luv Kush Kumar of Gopalganj.
In August 2016, nineteen people died and six others lost their eyesight due to illicit liquor consumption in dry Bihar.
Fourteen persons were accused in the case. One of them died during the trial, ”said Special Public Prosecutor Ravi Bhushan Srivastava.
Those sentenced to death in the case include Chhatu Pasi, Kanhaiya Pasi, Nagina Pasi, Lalbabu Pasi, Rajesh Kumar, Sanjay Kumar Pasi, Sanjay Pasi, Ranjit Chaudhary and Munna Chaudhary. The women convicts are Laljhari Devi, Kailasho Devi, Indu Devi and Rita Devi.
The state government had announced ₹ 4 lakh compensation to the family members of the victims. The other accused in the case along with Nagina Pasi, 13 others were named as accused.
As soon as the court pronounced the sentence, most of the accused persons and their family members started wandering.
R20;We will move the Patna High Court against the verdict,” said Ved Prakash Tiwari, a lawyer representing the accused persons.
In June 2020, 21 policemen – three sub-inspectors, five assistant sub-inspectors and 13 constables – were sacked in connection with the Cooch tragedy, which took place months after Bihar was declared a drought state.
Four months after the Bihar government enacted the new Excise and Prohibition Act, 2016, 19 people died in Khajurbani area under Manjha block of Gopalganj district, banning the trade and consumption of liquor in the state. Six other people lost their eyesight. Later, police raids in Khajurbani recovered more than 1,000 liters of liquor hidden underground. Nagina Pasi was made the main accused in the case. The district administration even imposed a R20;collective fine” in a bid to prevent residents from drinking alcohol.
Khajurbani area in Gopalganj city is mostly inhabited by the most backward and other backward classes.