The exact figure of death toll is unclear as many victims are yet reportedly in serious conditions. (Representational image)
The death count in hooch tragedy rose to over 50 in the districts of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. According to media reports, 34 people died in two adjoining district. 16 people died in Uttarakhand’s Balupur and 18 deaths are reported in Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur district.
However, the exact figure of the death count is unclear as many victims are yet reportedly in serious conditions and undergoing treatment. About four persons are said to be in a serious condition and several others are admitted to the hospital.
Saharanpur District Magistrate Alok Pandey on deaths after consuming illicit liquor: The death toll has risen to 18 so far. 42 people are still under treatment at the hospital. (08.02.2019) pic.twitter.com/GjubCavarb— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) February 9, 2019
Ashok Kumar, director general (DG) law and order told TOI, “People from three to four villages on the border of Haridwar and Saharanpur gathered on Thursday for a terahvi (ceremony conducted to mark the final day of mourning after a death). It seems they had country-made liquor after the ceremony, which led to their death.”
The police are yet to ascertain the exact cause of the deaths and awaiting post-mortem examination reports. It is said that the men were returning to their respective villages in Haridwar and Saharanpur after the function. The administration has announced Rs 2 lakh relief for the kin of the victims. An inquiry has also been ordered.
Several cases have been also been reported from Roorkee. The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has also sought a report on the matter from the district administration.
Meanwhile, in a Facebook post Congress president Rahul Gandhi has expressed his condolence over the deaths in the incidents.
The authorities have suspended the excise inspector, two head constables and two constables of the department. Besides, SP Kushinagar has sent four cops including SHO Tarya Sujan police station to the police line. Ramvriksha, 32, Bedupar village under Tarya Sujan police station died on Wednesday around 12.30 in the night and Ramnath, 45, of the same village died Thursday morning.
On Tuesday night Chanchal Chauhan, 45, died after consuming the intoxicant, while Deba Nishad (55), Heera Lal Nishad (33) and Awadh Kishore Nishad had died immediately after consuming the drink on Monday.
"In the post-mortem report, the cause behind the death of two people was not clear so the viscera sample has been sent to Varanasi for a chemical test to ascertain the cause of death. The post-mortem report of other bodies is awaited. SHO Tarya Sujan, Vinay Pathak along with inspector and two constables of the area have been called at police lines, SP Kushinagar Rajiv Narayan Mishra said.