23 die, scores sick after consuming fake alcoholic drink
10 February, 2019, 02:13
Ashok Kumar, director general (law and order), Uttarakhand, said: "Villagers from Haridwar and Saharanpur district had gathered at Baalupur village of Bhagwanpur to attend a "terahvi" ceremony (13th day ritual after a person's death) and consumed country-made liquor that led to the tragedy".
At least 16 people died on Friday after drinking spurious liquor in Uttar Pradesh's Saharanpur and Kushinagar districts.
Amid speculations of a higher figure, death toll in the Saharanpur hooch tragedy has gone up to 34, according to official figures. Eleven others, who were referred from Saharanpur for medical treatment in Meerut, died at a hospital there. Both states have suspended administrative and police officials for alleged negligence and ordered probes.
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. "Several others are being treated at hospital", Saharanpur SSP Dinesh Kumar P said.
In the adjoining Haridwar district, the death toll had risen to 28 from 12 on Friday, Indian broadcaster NDTV reported. While 13 excise department officials and four policemen were suspended in Uttarakhand, Saharanpur SSP suspended ten policemen, including an SHO, from Gagalhedi and Naagal police stations, under which all the affected villages fall.
Police also stepped up raids and an official said a record 92,697 litre of illicit liquor was seized from across Uttar Pradesh, while 297 separate cases were filed.
Later on Saturday, authorities in both states announced a compensation of 200,000 rupees (2,800 dollars) each to the relatives of those killed.
Consumption of bootleg liquor is a problem in rural districts of India, where the poor are often unable to afford legal alcohol.
Around two dozen people have lost their lives in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand in the last 24 hours after reportedly consuming illicit alcohol, reports said. Deaths as a result of consuming such alcohol are in the headlines regularly.
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