Barabanki hooch deaths: Excise inspector among 3 more arrested as death toll goes up
Meanwhile, confusion over the number of victims continued on Wednesday as SDM, Ramnagar, Chandra Prakash confirmed 18 deaths while locals claimed that 21 people had fallen prey to spurious liquor.Updated: May 30, 2019 08:12 IST
Launching a crackdown on the accused in the Barabanki spurious liquor case, police nabbed a salesman of the liquor shop after an encounter, and arrested two others -- including an excise inspector -- as the official death toll went up to 18 on Wednesday.
Sharing details of the police action, inspector general (IG) Praveen Kumar said Daanveer Singh, the licence holder of the shop from where spurious liquor was sold to villagers, his close aide Pappu Jaiswal and an excise inspector Ram Tirath Maurya were arrested.
“Jaiswal was arrested after an encounter under Ramnagar police station in Barabanki in which he suffered a bullet wound in his left leg in retaliatory firing by the police team. Jaiswal is undergoing treatment in Barabanki district hospital and has been quizzed about the incident,” Kumar said.
“The shop owner and the excise inspector were arrested following Jaiswal’s interrogation,” he added.
Kumar said up till now a total of six people had been arrested in the case.
Meanwhile, confusion over the number of victims continued on Wednesday as SDM, Ramnagar, Chandra Prakash confirmed 18 deaths while locals claimed that 21 people had fallen prey to spurious liquor.
A senior police officer privy to the matter said the victims, whose bodies were cremated without post-mortem examination, were not included in the list even if they died due to consumption of spurious liquor.
One Rajesh Kumar, a resident of Akohara village, is said to have died due to illness.
At least 56 people who took ill after consuming spurious liquor are undergoing treatment in different hospitals in Lucknow and Barabanki. Residents of Barabanki’s Ramnagar area as well as the police said the toll could go up further as several patients were still critical.
Earlier, Daanveer Singh, Pappu Jaiswal and Manish Singh had been named in the FIR lodged with Ramnagar police under sections 302 (murder) and 272 (adulteration of drinks intended for sale) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on the complaint of Monu, whose father Chhote Lal and three brothers Ramesh, Mukesh and Sonu died on Monday and Tuesday after consuming liquor bought from Danveer’s shop.
The police registered another case on Wednesday on the complaint of the family of another victim.
An official at DGP headquarters in Lucknow said police would send a recommendation for invoking the stringent National Security Act (NSA) against four of the accused.
Officials said the victims purchased two brands of country liquor, Power House and Windies, from the authorised shop of the excise department at Raniganj market in Ramnagar area of Barabanki. After the deaths, excise officials have sounded an alert about the two brands sold from the authorised excise department shops in the area.