Hooch tragedy: Industrial alcohol used to make spurious liquor in Uttarakhand
Isopropyl alcohol (IA) is widely used in household disinfectants and in automobile industry and is unfit for human consumption.Updated: Feb 13, 2019 15:59 IST
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
The special investigation team (SIT) probing the illicit liquor trade in Uttarakhand in the wake of hooch tragedy which claimed 35 lives Haridwar district, has found the accused sold isopropyl alcohol (IA) which is widely used in household disinfectants and in automobile industry, to the villagers after diluting it.
Police have arrested the main accused in case from Bhagwanpur in Haridwar who is alleged to have sold the chemical to others who mixed it to make spurious alcohol. More than 60 others died in Saharanpur and Kushinagar districts in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh.
“The main accused who was identified as one Arjun, a resident of Bhagwanpur, was arrested from the area on Tuesday. He has confessed to buying six drums of the chemical from a local trader using one of his trader friend’s GST number only to sell them to other accused to make the spurious liquor,” said senior superintendent of police (SSP), Haridwar, Janmejaya Khanduri in a joint press conference with SSP Saharanpur in Roorkee on Tuesday.
“He sold three of them to the two accused arrested on Monday, one to the accused in Saharanpur and kept one for himself at his place,” he said.
Khanduri said police seized three drums of the chemical, one from Arjun’s place and two others from one Sachin Gupta.
The hooch tragedy began to unfold on February 6.
Inspector general, Garhwal range, Ajay Rautela who is leading the SIT is waiting for the forensic report. “If anything else was mixed in it further which made it poisonous, could only be found after police receives the forensic report.”
Isopropyl alcohol has strong odour is not fit for human consumption and can prove to be fatal like in the recent incident. It is used as a denaturing agent for ethanol.
Another senior police official, who is privy to the investigations into the case, said traces of diesel were found in the sample of spurious liquor in the initial probe.
“The samples of the spurious liquor smelt like diesel. Later while questioning the accused and during investigations, it was found that the liquor was stored in a drum which had earlier diesel in it. However, there have been no traces of rat-poison or urea so far in it,” said the official.
First Published: Feb 12, 2019 20:18 IST