Bihar flood

People in flood-hit Bihar claim that they have been forced to eat rats due to the shortage of relief material. This statement was made by the residents of the Katihar.

"We were left with nothing to eat after floodwaters inundated our houses and forced us to take shelter by roadsides. We are surviving on rats, which our sons and grandsons catch from nearby localities," said Tala Murmu, a local.

However, Katihar District Magistrate Poonam has refuted the claims stating that community kitchens have been making food and distributing it to the survivors. "I have no idea about it. But I will definitely verify it from the officials concerned if you are saying so," Poonam told The Times of India.

Reports state that 12 villages in Kadwa, which is 35 km from Katihar, have been submerged. "There is no relief material. Nobody has taken notice of our plight. Rats are the only source of survival for people here," said Mukesh, a resident of Barri village, which falls under the Kadwa block.

Many politicians have called the Bihar government out asking why the victims have been surviving on rats. "I have also come to know about some people surviving on rats. Packets of neither 'chura' (beaten rice) nor 'pawroti' (bread) have so far been distributed among the flood victims," said Shakeel Ahmad Khan, the Congress MLA from Kadwa.

The news led to many members of the opposition demand the resignation of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Rabri Devi, the former chief minister and the leader of the opposition, said that even though the government was making tall claims, no action has been initiated.

Katihar District Magistrate Poonam reiterated that community kitchens are running from 11 schools housing victims whose houses have been submerged in the deluge. She said that complete repair work will be completed in the next few days.