At least 17 people were dead after allegedly consuming illicit liquor at Golaghat in Assam. Dr Dileep Rajvanshi of government hospital said, "Initial diagnosis suggests alcohol poisoning. As many as four people were brought dead last night and later 12 more people died. A total of 17 people have died. A post-mortem examination is yet to be done and the exact cause will be ascertained after the reports are out."
This comes a few weeks after 84 people lost their lives after consuming spurious liquor in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Most of the victims are from Saharanpur district in Uttar Pradesh and from neighbouring Haridwar district in Uttarakhand.
Saharanpur District Magistrate Alok Pandey has said that 46 postmortems have been conducted so far out of which 36 deaths are clearly due to consumption of illicit liquor. Other cases are being ascertained.
According to the DM, most of the victims had consumed the liquor on Thursday evening at the `tehravin', the 13th day of mourning after a relative's death in Balupur village.
“They were served liquor there in the evening. The victims started taking ill during the night, officials from both Uttarakhand and UP said. Many of the Saharanpur victims could not be admitted to hospital because the area was lashed by rain and hailstorms,” Pandey said.
Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh police, at the instructions of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, has started a crackdown on illicit liquor manufacture and sales. According to latest reports, at least 30 people have been arrested so far and 25 FIRs registered.
“FIRs have been registered at 3 police stations. A crackdown was done by a joint team last night. At least 30 people were arrested, 25 FIRs registered. More than 400 litres illicit liquor was seized. The crackdown will continue until this is completely finished,” Saharanpur Superintendent of Police (SSP) Dinesh Kumar was quoted as saying by ANI.
Police have also conducted raids at different locations in the Banda district in connection with sale of illicit liquor. "We've seized large quantity of country made and illicit liquor. It'll be done tomorrow too, 15 teams have been designated," ASP Banda Lal Bharat Kumar Pal said.
CM Yogi has ordered departmental action against district excise officers of Kushinagar and Saharanpur, the state government said. He also announced an ex-gratia compensation of Rs two lakh each to the relatives of those killed.
Meanwhile, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has also announced to give a compensation of Rs. 2 lakhs each to the kin of the deceased & Rs. 50,000 each to those who are in a critical condition after consumption of illicit liquor in Roorkee.
(With agency inputs)