The toll in the spurious country liquor case at Malwani rose to 53, while 28 people are in a critical condition. The police on Friday arrested Raju Hanmanta Pascar alias Langada, 50, Donald Robert Patel, 47, and Gautam Harte, 30, for selling the spurious liquor.
The victims allegedly drank the liquor at three different places in Laxminagar slums between Wednesday night and Thursday morning. Within hours of consuming the liquor, the victims began complaining of blurry vision, acute respiratory distress and vomiting.
This is second such case in the city. In 2004, 86 people were killed and another 192 fell ill after they consumed spurious country liquor at Vikhroli.
The Malwani case led to the suspension of eight police officers, including the senior police inspector of Malwani police station on Friday, and a major drive to crack down on the sale of illegal liquor has been undertaken.
Mumbai police commissioner Rakesh Maria said, “We have suspended four police officers and four constables for negligence.” A case has been registered at the Malwani police station under section 304 of the Indian penal code (culpable homicide) along with section 328 (causing hurt by means of poison), and 34 (act of common intention).