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Toll in hooch tragedy crosses 80; over 200 arrested in Uttar Pradesh after crack down on sale, distribution of illicit liquor

Action was taken against seven excise and seven police officials in Uttar Pradesh — some even facing suspension — after poisoning from spurious  liquor lead to over 70 deaths in the Yogi Adityanath-led state and neigbouring Uttarakhand, Hindustan Times reported. More than 30 officials from the administration and police force have been suspended in Saharanpur and Haridwar, according to The Wire.

There are conflicting reports on the number of people who have died since consuming the spurious liquor on Thursday while in Haridwar for a mourning ritual. The figure, according to reports, stands between 70 and 100. Many had even carried some of the alcohol back to their villages in Uttar Pradesh. On Friday, those who consumed the liquor began to vomit profusely and were rushed to hospitals by their families.

Victims undergo treatment in Saharanpur. PTI

Victims undergo treatment in Saharanpur. PTI

A combination of urea, battery liquid, caustic soda and sedatives mixed with the alcoholic brew made the liquor poisonous, according to The Times of India. Reports suggest that doctors had found methanol in the viscera report of the victims.

After the hooch tragedy unfolded in Saharanpur and Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand’s Haridwar, the Uttar Pradesh government started a 15-day campaign on Friday to crack down on the sale of illicit liquor and its distribution in the state. As a result of this drive over the weekend, authorities have filed cases against 297 people in Uttar Pradesh and 49 in Uttarakhand, and 215 people have been arrested in Uttar Pradesh, according to the Hindustan Times.

Teams of the Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand police are carrying out joint operations to crack down on manufacturers. Anand Kumar, Uttar Pradesh additional Director General of Police (Law and Order), said they believe the spurious liquor had been trafficked from Bihar.

About 250 litres of raw liquor and 60 litres of English liquor — all stolen — have been recovered, India Today reported. This was also a result of the action taken by the Yogi Adityanath government, which has also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh for the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for those undergoing treatment at hospitals.

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Updated Date: Feb 10, 2019 16:16:19 IST

Updated: February 10, 2019 — 12:32 pm
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