Ten persons have died and several others have been admitted to hospital over the past three days after consuming spurious country liquor in West Bengal’s South 24 Parganas district, police said.
The incidents took place in Gholabazar area in Baruipur block, and Paschim Shibnagar in Canning 1 block of the district.
According to police, people have been falling ill after consuming the illegally produced liquor since Sunday.
After the news broke, angry villagers ransacked at least 10 hooch-making units and set them on fire.
The incident brought back memories of a hooch tragedy in the same district in 2011 that claimed 167 lives.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee had then ordered a probe by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and granted monetary compensation to the affected families.
Till Tuesday evening, around 60 people were being treated at Canning and Baruipur sub-divisional hospitals.
Over a dozen people were said to be in critical condition and some of them were referred to state-run hospitals in Kolkata. The government, however, did not officially say how many had died.
“The bodies have been sent for post-mortem examination to ascertain the cause of death. We are trying to arrest the culprits,” said Arijit Sinha, superintendent of police.
One of the dead was identified as Monoranjan Gayen, who himself owned an illegal hooch den in the area.
According to police, the liquor was supplied from as many as in 10 illegal liquor-making units. Sleuths were trying to nab the owners of these dens and those who ran the supply chain.
The government set up two medical camps in the area and officials were trying to identify the affected people.