1 arrested after police encounter in Barabanki hooch case
Pappu Jaiswal suffered a bullet wound in his right leg in the retaliatory firing by the police team around two kilometres from Raniganj village under Ramnagar police station in Barabanki, officials said.Updated: May 29, 2019 11:34 IST
A salesman of the liquor shop, which allegedly sold spurious liquor that caused the deaths of at least 16 people in Uttar Pradesh’s Barabanki, was arrested by police on Wednesday after a gunfight, officials said.
Barabanki’s superintendent of police Ajay Sahani said Pappu Jaiswal suffered a bullet wound in his right leg in the retaliatory firing by the police team around two kilometres from Raniganj village under Ramnagar police station in Barabanki.
The confirmation of two more deaths by the administration has taken the toll to 12 and the figure given by the locals to 16. There was confusion over the number of victims because of a mismatch in the list of the dead given by the administration and those who locals’ claim have died.
Pappu Jaiswal is the fourth person to be arrested in connection with the case. Sunil Kumar Jaiswal, another salesman, Pitambar and Chottu were arrested on Tuesday.
Pappu Jaiswal, the owner of the liquor shop authorised by the excise department Danveer Singh and another salesman Manish Singh have been named in the first information report lodged in the case. They were named in the FIR lodged with Ramnagar police station of Barabanki under Indian Penal Code’s sections 302 for murder and 272 for adulteration of drinks intended for sale.
The FIR was lodged on the complaint of Monu, whose father Chhote Lal and three brothers Ramesh, Mukesh and Sonu died on Monday and Tuesday after consuming the liquor bought from Danveer Singh’s shop.
A fresh FIR was also registered in the case at Ramnagar police station.
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Police will send their recommendations to impose the National Security Act (NSA) against the four accused arrested so far in the Barabanki hooch case.
Officials said the dead and the survivors purchased two brands of country liquor, Power House and Windies, from the authorised shop of the excise department at Raniganj market in the Ramnagar area of Barabanki.
After the deaths, excise officials sounded an alert about the two brands sold from the authorised excise department shops in the area.
Police had seized bottles of the same brands on April 14 in Barabanki and arrested two people for distilling spurious liquor and supplying it to authorised shops with wrappers of the registered brands.
A district excise officer, an excise inspector and two policemen — circle officer and inspector of Ramnagar area — have been suspended.
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath has ordered a high-level probe to look into all angles, including the possibility of a “political conspiracy”. He also announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 2 lakh to the families of the dead and directed senior officials to ensure medical attention to all those who took ill after consuming the liquor.
Uttar Pradesh’s chief secretary Anup Chandra Pandey directed the officials to examine the samples of these two brands at all shops in Barabanki as well as other parts of the state. He also formed a three-member committee, headed by excise commissioner P Guru Prasad, to probe the matter and submit a report in 48 hours.
Excise minister Jai Pratap Singh said stringent action will be taken against those found guilty of selling tainted liquor.
At least 100 people had died in another hooch tragedy in adjoining districts of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand in February this year. Less than two weeks later, more than 120 people died, mostly tea estate workers, after drinking a locally brewed liquor ‘sulai’, which is made of jaggery and ethyl alcohol, in Golaghat and Jorhat districts of Assam.