Spurious liquor during post-poll feast kills five in Odisha

Locals claimed that the victims had bought the liquor with the money provided to them by political parties before the polls on Monday, while the police said the entire episode is being probed.
At least five people died and 28 others fell ill on Tuesday after they allegedly consumed spurious liquor in a “post-election feast” in Odisha’s Bhadrak district, police said.(Representative Image)
At least five people died and 28 others fell ill on Tuesday after they allegedly consumed spurious liquor in a “post-election feast” in Odisha’s Bhadrak district, police said.(Representative Image)
Published on May 01, 2019 12:01 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Bhubaneswar | By

At least five people died and 28 others fell ill on Tuesday after they allegedly consumed spurious liquor in a “post-election feast” in Odisha’s Bhadrak district, police said.

The tragedy struck late Monday night, a few hours after polling for the fourth and final phase of simultaneous Lok Sabha and state assembly elections in the state was over.

The tragedy struck late Monday night, a few hours after polling for the fourth and final phase of simultaneous Lok Sabha and state assembly elections in the state was over.

Locals claimed that the victims had bought the liquor with the money provided to them by political parties before the polls on Monday, while the police said the entire episode is being probed. “We have information that people in Daulatapur and another village under Tihidi police station limits had bought the liquor from a local market for a post-election feast,” Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Umakanta Moharana said. Bhadrak’s chief district medical officer, Dr BK Dash, said the sick villagers had stale mutton curry along with rum. “The complications may have arisen due to consumption of liquor and stale mutton,” said Dash. “Many of the persons who took liquor are likely to have suffered heatstroke as they were going around polling booths in scorching heat,’’ said Dash.

“The exact reason of the deaths would be known after the viscera samples of the deceased are tested.” Bhadrak’s district collector, Gyana Das, said it is still unclear whether the deceased and others consumed spurious liquor.

“We suspect spurious liquor caused the deaths. I have ordered an administrative probe to ascertain the exact cause of the deaths,” said Das.

The district administration had ordered closure of all liquor shops in the district a day ago due to elections in the area on Monday. State excise secretary Nikunja Dhal said since the incident took place on the polling day, they are taking this matter seriously. Excise Secretary Nikunja Bihari Dhal said a joint investigation is being conducted by revenue, health, excise and police departments.

Meanwhile, hundreds of villagers blocked Tihidi-Chandbali road on Tuesday demanding compensation for the families of the deseased. Bhadrak went to polling in the fourth phase of the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections on April 29.

(With inputs from PTI)
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