After the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) team arrived in Bihar to probe the hooch tragedy, Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav on Tuesday alleged that the rights panel visit is propaganda by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Centre to defame the state government.
"It is propaganda to defame state government. NCRB report was presented in Parliament. Why did not team go to Madhya Pradesh and Haryana? Where were these people four months ago when BJP was in power? It should be asked if they have come here or have been sent," Tejashwi Yadav told reporters.
A team of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Tuesday arrived in Bihar's Patna to probe the hooch tragedy.
The NHRC team is comprised of nine members who will investigate the tragic incident reported last week from Bihar's Saran district in which over 60 people were killed due to 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.
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 Mr 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, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP Manoj Jha accused the BJP-led Central government of misusing the NHRC and using it as a "political tool" in the Bihar hooch tragedy issue.
"NHRC is being used as a political tool in Bihar hooch tragedy issue," said Mr 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," Mr 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 an adjournment notice in the Rajya Sabha over the issues but it was not accepted...We raised the issue in the House and walked out," Dola Sen 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 the 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 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 will die - example is before us. This should be condoled, those places should be visited and people be explained," CM Nitish Kumar said.
"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 said.
Sale and consumption of alcohol were banned in Bihar by the Nitish Kumar government in April 2016.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)