They have had enough and, now, the residents of Brahmapuri in Dabri are fighting back. In a little over 72 hours, this locality in Southwest Delhi has seen 14 hooch deaths.
Almost every lane in this area has a home with at least one victim who died after drinking spurious liquor, which flows freely in the area.
After continuous pleas to the local police, the residents have now taken it upon themselves to root out the hooch mafia.
On Friday, two more people — Laxman Kumar and Deepak Singh — succumbed to hooch poisoning. “The police do nothing. When we first went to them and told them that spurious liquor was killing people here, they just laughed t us. They said they had all died their natural deaths. Now, we will make sure that this mafia is completely rooted out of this area,” said Ashok Kumar, whose brother Deepak died on Wednesday night. Deepak had consumed the spurious liquor like thirteen others on Tuesday night.
On Thursday, the anger spilled on to the streets. Residents raided makeshift godowns and destroyed several hundred bottles of spurious liquor. They even tried to set fire to the godown where spurious liquor was stocked. Police had to be called in to bring the situation under control.
“From now on, this is what we are going to do with these murderers who sell this poison. The police are just interested in taking bribe. If they had taken action earlier, this would have never happened. We cannot let another of our sons die like this,” said Sri Ram Badhalia, the local headman of the area.
The local residents also alleged that a particular community, who is involved in various crimes, is selling the “killer” hooch here. “They (the community) have strong political and police connections here, so no one is ready to stop them. I lost two sons in a single day and still the police are not ready to do anything,” said Rame Kangra.
Seven months pregnant Sunita Devi lost her husband Naveen Kumar to hooch on Wednesday. “We live in a joint family and my husband was the only earning member. How will I look after them now? I just want these killers behind bars,” she said.
On Friday, there was heavy police presence in the area to avert any kind of trouble. The police in their effort to do some damage control had quickly suspended seven police personnel, including the station head officer, of Dabri police station.