More than three dozen die in bootleg liquor poisoning

Hooch tragedy Spurious liquor claims 30 lives in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand

Hooch tragedy Spurious liquor claims 30 lives in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand

At least 39 people have died and another 27 have fallen sick from drinking cheap liquor containing toxic methanol in several villages in northern India.

The death toll in the spurious liquor tragedy that hit two adjoining districts has risen to 70 with more people dying of the hooch they drank at a Haridwar village, officials said Saturday, PTI reported.

"Nine people have been suspended in connection with the case and investigation is on".

Authorities in the region also suspended over 30 officials, including 10 policemen, on charges of negligence or collusion in the illicit trade. Till the filing of this report, the toll in Saharanpur and Haridwar had touched 18 and 14 respectively.

Taking cognisance of the matter in Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has asked to provide immediate medical help to the victims.

Chief Minister Adityanath has ordered a 15-day joint drive by excise and police officials against those involved in the production and distribution of spurious liquor. He has also announced a compensation of Rs two lakh each to the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 each to the victims undergoing treatment in the hospital.

According to officials, the people from two districts have purchased the liquor from a common shop.

The viscera examination on 11 more bodies is yet to be conducted to find out if these too were alcohol-related deaths.

The chief minister has ordered departmental action against district excise officers of Kushinagar and Saharanpur from where deaths have been reported, the release said.

Ramvriksha, 32, Bedupar village under Tarya Sujan police station died on Wednesday around 12.30 in the night and Ramnath, 45, of the same village died Thursday morning.?

Altogether, 25 government officials, including excise department officers and policemen, have been suspended in Saharanpur and Kushinagar following the incidents. Though family members claimed illicit liquor was distilled and sold by a local resident, Dudhnath, under the brand name Crazy Romeo, police insist hooch was smuggled from Gopalganj in Bihar by one Rajendra Jaiswal, who was arrested on Friday.

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