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A shop in Gali No.9 sold death in Khoda

Spurious liquor tragedy: Residents say sale of illegal liquor rampant in Khoda, blame police for turning a blind eye

noida Updated: Mar 13, 2018 23:22 IST
Peeyush Khandelwal
Peeyush Khandelwal
Hindustan Times
Khoda liquor deaths,spurious liquor deaths,Ghaziabad police
A Khoda resident holds up a smuggled liquor bottle. Four persons of the colony died after consuming spurious liquor on Monday. (Sakib Ali /HT Photo)

“On Monday night, around 11pm, my brother Avnesh bought a liquor bottle from the local shop in Gali No.9, even though his wife tried her best to stop him. He and my younger brother Sandeep, who had come to Khoda in search of job around four days ago, drank together. Within half an hour, they started vomiting and died,” Seema, Avnesh’s sister, said at their residence at Shankar Vihar locality of Khoda.

Both Avnesh and Sandeep are from Shahjahanpur in UP and had come to Ghaziabad in search of jobs. Avnesh, who worked as a daily wage earner at a factory in Surajpur, Gautam Budh Nagar, is survived by his wife Vimla and three minor children, including an infant of three months.

“We rushed them both to a hospital but they could not be saved. They died within a couple of hours of consuming the liquor bought from the woman who sold it from her grocery shop,” Seema said.

The other casualty in the spurious liquor tragedy in Khoda was Ashok Prasad who left behind two minor sons and wife. Prasad’s family is from Nalanda in Bihar and he worked as a daily wage earner.

“Prasad, too, bought the liquor from Gali No.9 and slept on the ground floor of the house. His wife had problems with his drinking habit and she went to the terrace to sleep. On Tuesday morning, around 7.30am, some workers came to take Ashok to work but he did not get up. He was lying dead near the main door,” Mukesh Kumar, Ashok’s brother-in-law, said.

The families said the police arrived soon after the incident and took away the liquor bottles.

Around 7am on Tuesday, brothers Ravinder, 35, and Sri Niwas, 40, left their home and returned drunk after consuming liquor bought from Gali No.9.

“My uncle (Ravinder) fell near a drain adjacent to the house. My father also started frothing as he entered the house. They both were drunk. My uncle died soon after while my father is admitted to the ICU of a Delhi hospital,” Manish Kumar, Sri Niwas’s son, said.

Both victims operated tractor trolleys and hailed from Nagla Khuga in Aligarh district.

As news of the three initial deaths spread, Ghaziabad district magistrate Ritu Maheshwari and senior superintendent of police HN Singh reached Khoda and met the grieving families. Soon after their arrival, the news of the fourth casualty — Ravinder — came.

“Sale of smuggled liquor is a regular affair in Khoda and so is the sale of marijuana. Residents of Khoda are migrant workers. They are poor and, hence, easy prey for smugglers. We have raised the issues time and again but we are silenced by the police each time. Even people who sell liquor and drugs have kept bouncers and musclemen to beat up people who dare to raise their voices against them,” Vinod Singh Bihari, a resident of Khoda, said.

According to the district excise department, there are 16 licensed liquor shops in Khoda that cater to an estimated 5 lakh population. The 16 authorised liquor vends include two model shops, three Indian made foreign liquor shops, three beer shops and eight countrymade liquor shops.

First Published: Mar 13, 2018 23:22 IST