One more person succumbed to hooch at Kandial village taking the death toll due to the consumption of poisonous liquor to 18.
Ved Parkash, 32, died on Thursday night.
His body was brought to the Batala Civil Hospital on Friday morning where the doctors conducted his postmortem.
The victim's family members said, "Ved had consumed hooch at Kutbi Nangal on Wednesday morning. After some time, he started feeling irritation in his eyes. He lost his vision and died later in the night."
Two people were already reported dead after consuming hooch at Kutbi Nangal village on Wednesday.
Senior medical officer of the civil hospital said they had sent the viscera of all the three victims to the Chemical Analyser and Histopathology department, who will ascertain the exact cause of the death.
Batala's senior superintendent of police (SSP), Rajpal Singh Sandhu, said the police were working round the clock and raiding all the possible hideout of the accused.
He said one of the prime accused Kamla, who had allegedly sold hooch to the people of Baleywal, was already convicted in more than 10 cases.
Sandhu informed that after the preliminary investigations, the police were searching for a person named Lovely, a resident of Shampura, who was the key accused in the case.
Meanwhile, Congress MLAs Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa and Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa met the aggrieved families at village Baleywal and Johal Nangal. They assured the families that they would bring the entire matter to the notice of local MP Partap Singh Bajwa. They promised to seek financial help to the victims' family.
Talking to media persons, the Congress leaders blamed the civil and police administration for the 18 deaths. They said the first death of Sulakhan Masih, resident of Johal Nangal, was reported on August 6 at 9 am.
"No doctor or any other employee from the health department turned up at the spot till Tuesday afternoon, which resulted into 17 more deaths," they said.
The Congress leaders said had the civil administration warned the nearby villages and the health department taken timely action, the death toll might have been much less.