Death toll in Mumbai hooch tragedy rises to 90, some still critical

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Jun 21, 2015 09:26 IST

Death toll in the Laxminagar in Malwani spurious liquor case rose to 90 on Saturday evening, making it one of the worst cases of hooch tragedy in Maharashtra.

The police officials said at least 31 more people were admitted to various hospitals in Mumbai in critical. The doctors treating the patients have said the death toll may rise as 11 patients were battling for life.

Mumbai police officials said they have arrested three accused in the case - Raju Hanmanta Pascar, alias Langada (50), Donald Robert Patel (47), and Gautam Harte (30), while two others are being questioned. Those arrested were remanded to police custody till June 26.

Officials said Langada was selling plastic packets of the hooch for Rs 10 to 30 and along with the packets he also sold GM country liquor.

Police sources said many had consumed liquor at Laxminagar slums in Malwani on Wednesday night while some had consumed it in on Thursday morning. The effects started to show after a few hours, when many started vomiting. Most of the affected are between the age group of 30 and 40 years and were rushed to the nearby hospitals. On Friday, police cracked down on all illicit liquor dens in Mumbai and six cases were registered by the police The Mumbai crime branch officials are investigating the case. A case at the Malwani police station under section 304 of the Indian penal code which is for culpable homicide along with section 328 causing hurt by means of poison, and 34 - acts of common intention.

In 2004, 104 people had died after drinking spurious liquor in Mumbai's Vikhroli area.

Deaths from illegally brewed alcohol are common in because the poor cannot afford licensed liquor. Illicit liquor is often spiked with chemicals such as pesticides to increase its potency.

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