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Barabanki hooch tragedy: Death toll may go up to 22

The families of four people who died on May 27 claim they died after consuming spurious liquor from the same registered shop.

india Updated: May 31, 2019 12:07 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
barbanki hooch tragedy,barabanki hooch deaths,spurious liquor
A man walks past the local liquor shop at Raniganj Village in Barabanki district. (ANI )

The number of people who died in Barabanki due to consumption of adulterated liquor is expected to go up to 22, after the district administration ordered an investigation into the death of four others who died on May 27.

“The post-mortem examination of four people who died in Ramnagar on Monday was not performed. Their family members have claimed that they died after consuming spurious liquor from the same registered shop,” Udai Bhanu Tripathi, district magistrate of Barabanki, said on Thursday.

“We have decided to examine all four cases to ascertain the exact cause of death,” he added.

Of the said four, two persons – Rajendra, 50, and Vinay Pratap – were cremated without informing the officials while the other two died in hospital. “A team of doctors examining these cases will submit their report by Friday,” said the DM.

As of now, the authorities have confirmed 18 deaths due to consumption of adulterated liquor. Besides, 56 others were taken ill and rushed to government hospitals in Lucknow and Barabanki.

Doctors feared that many of the victims who fell ill could lose eye sight because of methyl alcohol poisoning.

All the victims had purchased liquor from an authorised shop that sold country-made liquor. As per preliminary investigation, officials found that the adulterated liquor was mixed with the stock of country-made liquor.

Taking cognisance of the incident, the state government suspended around 15 police and excise department personnel. Six people, including an excise inspector and the owner of the registered shop, have been arrested so far by police.

A magisterial probe ordered by the DM was also underway.

“We are focusing on the manufacture and supply chain of spurious liquor and the people involved in it. Separate FIRs will also be lodged against such people,” said the DM.

Meanwhile, the kin of the deceased continued to bear the brunt of the tragedy. Ramvati, wife of Shiv Kumar, a daily wager of Raniganj village who died along with his father and two brothers after consuming spurious liquor, met the district magistrate and sought help.

“All earning members of our family were killed in the tragedy. I want the government to provide us some assistance for our survival,” she said.

The DM assured her of help, said sources.

First Published: May 31, 2019 12:07 IST