2011 Bengal hooch tragedy: Main accused gets life sentence till death | Kolkata - Hindustan Times
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2011 Bengal hooch tragedy: Main accused gets life sentence till death

Aug 02, 2021 05:40 PM IST

The incident took place on December 14 in 2011 at Sangrampur in the Mograhat police station area of South 24 Parganas district. A second case was filed at Usti police station since 48 of the 172 people died in that area. A third case was registered in the Mandirbazar police station

Kolkata’s Alipore court on Monday ordered life sentence for the main accused, Noor Islam Fakir, in the 2011 Mograhat hooch tragedy that claimed 172 lives and left many blinded in West Bengal. Fakir is to serve the sentence until death, ruled the court.

Representational Image. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Representational Image. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

This is the highest toll in a hooch related incident in the state’s recorded history.

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The incident took place on December 14 in 2011 at Sangrampur in the Mograhat police station area of South 24 Parganas district. A second case was filed at Usti police station since 48 of the 172 people died in that area. A third case was registered in the Mandirbazar police station.

Fakir, who is physically challenged and cannot walk without crutches, ran the hooch trade.

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The Criminal Investigation Department (CID), which probed the crime, found that methyl alcohol and some toxic chemicals were used to make the illicit liquor more potent, leading to mass poisoning.

The charge sheet was filed within 60 days. Fakir, who surrendered after several of his associates were arrested, has been in judicial custody since 2012.

He was pronounced guilty on Saturday by additional district judge Pushpal Satpathi who reserved the sentence till Monday. Fakir’s lawyer, Rampada Jana, said, “My client told the court that the trade was run by other people and he was not directly involved. We will move the Calcutta high court challenging the order.”

Public prosecutor Tamal Mukherjee said, “The order has sent a strong message to the society.”

In 2018, the Alipore court acquitted Fakir’s wife Shakila Bibi, Ayub Ali Laskar, Giasuddin Laskar, Khairunnesa Bewa, Moinuddin Gazi and Rabiul Laskar, but sentenced four others for life.

The hooch tragedy took place months after Mamata Banerjee formed the government in the state with the Congress, ousting the Left Front which ruled Bengal for 34 years.

She announced a compensation of 2 lakh for the kin of each of the victims. This led to a political debate with Left leaders alleging that money meant for victims of natural calamities was being misused for political reasons.

The Trinamool Congress alleged that the hooch tragedy was a handiwork of the CPI(M).

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