70 die after consuming hooch in Uttarakhand

70 die after consuming hooch in Uttarakhand

Altogether, 25 government officials, including excise department officers and policemen, have been suspended in Saharanpur and Kushinagar following the incidents. A total of 13 excise officials have been suspended in connection with the case.

UP goverment also announced ex gratia of Rs 2 lakh to kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for those undergoing treatment.

Taking strong note of some recent hooch deaths in the state, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath Friday ordered a 15 day joint drive by excise and police officials against those involved in the spurious liquor trade. The origin of the tragedy in both the district was traced to Baalpur village of Haridwar.

At least 12 people have died in Uttrakhand's Roorkee while 16 were reported dead from Uttar Pradesh's Saharanpur and Kushinagar districts, reported ANI.

"We have directed health officials to provide all possible assistance to the people that have been admitted in hospital because of the tragedy".

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Almost 1,000 people die in the country each year after consuming illegally brewed alcohol, the National Crime Records Bureau data show. In at least the Saharanpur and the Haridwar district deaths, the hooch is suspected to be from the same source, possibly made in villages that fall near the Uttarakhand-UP border.

Garhwal IG Ajay Rautela said, "As of now, there are 14 confirmed causalities in Haridwar, while two are in very critical condition". The Hindustan Times put the toll at 39 and reported that several others were undergoing treatment. 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.

The death toll in two incidents in Uttar Pradesh alone has gone up to 17.

Mr Kumar said victims consumed liquor during two customary functions on Thursday night, adding that the post-mortem and initial forensic reports suggested that the brew was laced with methanol.

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