23 die in Haridwar hooch tragedy during last rites
At least twenty three people died on Friday and eight others were battling for life in hospitals after allegedly consuming spurious liquor at a village in Haridwar district, prompting the administration to order a magisterial probe into the incident and suspend 17 personnel of excise and police departments.
Earlier, 16 people died in Saharanpur and Kushinagar districts of UP after consuming spurious liquor a few days ago.
A number of people took ill on Thursday evening after consuming hooch served at the Terahvi (post death ceremony) of a person at Balupur village in Jhabrera area near Roorkee in Haridwar district, ADG (law and order) Ashok Kumar said.
Fourteen persons killed in the incident were from Balupur village and neighbouring areas in Haridwar district whereas the remaining died after returning to their homes in Saharanpur district of UP after the ceremony, he said.
Nine persons have died in Saharanpur and four others are serious, Saharanpur SSP Dinesh Kumar said. Four persons are battling for life at a hospital in Roorkee, ADG Kumar said.
People who had consumed spurious liquor at the feast fell ill last night itself but began to die today morning, he said, adding 30-32 people are said to have consumed spurious liquor at the feast. A magisterial probe has been ordered into the incident and 13 excise department personnel have been placed under suspension in connection with the hooch tragedy, Haridwar District Magistrate Deepak Rawat said.
Meanwhile, Uttarakhand DGP Anil Raturi said four police department personnel have also been suspended in connection with the incident including SHO Jhabrera Pradeep Mishra.
Taking cognisance of the incident, Uttarakhand Principal Secretary Anand Bardhan has ordered a special drive to identify and penalise people engaged in illicit liquor trade across the State.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday took serious note of at least 16 deaths due to spurious liquor in Kushinagar and Saharanpur districts and ordered a 15-day joint drive by excise and police officials against those involved.
Eight people died in Saharanpur and as many in Kushinagar districts in the past few days and the toll might rise, official sources said here.
The Chief Minister announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh to the next of kin of each of those who died after consuming spurious liquor and a help of Rs 50,000 each for those undergoing treatment in hospitals, an official release issued here said.
Saturday, 09 February 2019 | PNS | Dehradun/Lucknow
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