Uttar Pradesh hooch toll climbs to 18; 3 arrested
The toll from spurious liquor tragedy in Uttar Pradesh’s Barabanki rose to 18 as an excise inspector and two other accused were arrested on Wednesday. The two include Daanveer Singh, owner of the shop where liquor was sourced from.Updated: May 30, 2019 07:01 IST
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
The toll from spurious liquor tragedy in Uttar Pradesh’s Barabanki rose to 18 as an excise inspector and two other accused were arrested on Wednesday. The two include Daanveer Singh, owner of the shop where liquor was sourced from..
Sub-divisional magistrate Chandra Prakash put the toll at 18 even as local residents said 21 people have died so far.
A police officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the toll figures varied since bodies of those cremated without post-mortem examination were not included in the official list of the deceased. Officials feared the toll was likely to go up as many of 56 others, who had also taken ill after consuming spurious liquor, were critical at hospitals in Lucknow and Barabanki.
Inspector general Praveen Kumar said Singh was arrested along with Pappu Jaiswal.
He added excise inspector Ram Tirath Maurya was arrested after his alleged connivance with the two accused in the sale of spurious liquor came to light.
Kumar said Jaiswal was arrested after an exchange of fire with police. He added Jaiswal was wounded and is undergoing treatment at a Barabanki hospital. Kumar said Jaiswal has been questioned. He added Singh and Maurya were arrested following Jaiswal’s interrogation.
Three others were earlier arrested on Tuesday.
A First Information Report has been lodged in the case under Indian Penal Code’s sections 302 (murder) and 272 (adulteration of drinks for sale) on the complaint of one Monu, whose father Chhote Lal and three brothers, Ramesh, Mukesh and Sonu, died on Monday and Tuesday after consuming the liquor.
Officials said the dead and the survivors purchased two brands of country liquor, Power House and Windies, from Singh’s shop.
After the deaths, excise officials sounded an alert about the two brands sold from the authorised shops in the area. The police seized bottles of the same brands on 14 April in Barabanki and arrested two persons for distilling spurious liquor and supplying it to authorised shops with wrappers of registered brands.
Around 100 people had died in another hooch tragedy in two 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 consuming a locally brewed liquor called ‘sulai’, which is made of jaggery and ethyl alcohol, in Golaghat and Jorhat districts of Assam.
First Published: May 29, 2019 23:48 IST