A special investigation team (SIT) of Bihar Police on Tuesday arrested the prime accused in the Nawada ‘hooch’ tragedy that claimed 16 lives and left over 10 people sick during the Holi festival this year, from Mumbai. This is the ninth arrest in the case.

“In a major breakthrough in the alleged hooch incident, one of the key accused, Vidhan Yadav, a resident of Khemchand-Bigha, has been arrested from Maharashtra and brought here on transit remand. Earlier police arrested his close aide Arvind Yadav from Kolkata and he is being interrogated,” Nawada SP Dhurat Saayli Savlaram said. Arvind is accused of manufacturing the alleged hooch at Kharidi Bigha village in Nawada district.

The SP said 10 FIRs have been lodged and nine accused, including two women, have been arrested for 16 deaths caused by suspected spurious liquor on Holi (March 31). Five officials including the station house officer (SHO) of Town police station and an excise sub-inspector have been suspended. He said police were still awaiting test reports from a Patna FSL (Forensic Science Laboratory) to establish if methyl alcohol was used in making the hooch.

The SIT formed to investigate the case has so far not been able to identify the person who supplied raw spirit to make the deadly liquor.

In a related case of liquor smuggling, Gopalganj police arrested Manjit Kumar from Bhaproda village of Jhajjar district in Haryana and brought him to Gopalganj on transit remand. in connection with an old case of recovery of Chandigarh made 3,492 litres of Indian-Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL), said Saran range deputy inspector general (DIG) Manu Maharaaj.

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Police claimed that Manjit, who was a liquor contractor in Haryana and ran three liquor shops in his village, recently confessed to having supplied IMFL consignment for sale in Bihar, a dry state.

The above news was originally posted on www.hindustantimes.com