In Aligarh district, Uttar Pradesh, 17 people have died and 12 have been hospitalised after they consumed spurious liquor.
Seventeen people died and another twelve were hospitalized in Aligarh district on Friday after they allegedly consumed spurious liquor sold by a licensed vendor, a senior official said. Many of those seriously ill in the hospital have reported going blind.
One of the deceased was the driver of a tanker consigned to the HP Gas bottling plant. The other victims were truck drivers who had gathered at a gas depot on the Aligarh-Tapaal highway for work.
An investigation into the matter is underway and the Uttar Pradesh government has suspended six excise department employees for negligence. This includes district excise officer Dheeraj Sharma, excise inspector Rajesh Yadav and chief excise constable Ashok Kumar.
The district magistrate in Aligarh, Chandra Bhushan Singh, and Deputy Inspector General of police Deepak Kumar visited villages Karsua and Andla, where the maximum number of deaths had been reported.
Police teams were formed to comb through villages so that all victims can be traced and provided medical assistance. Four people, including the vendor, were arrested. All country liquor shops in the district were closed.
The district magistrate and senior superintendent of police assured the family members of the deceased that they will receive financial compensation and the culprits will be arrested.
The locals in Karsua village told India Today that the liquor was purchased from a government shop and, hence, the contractor of the shop should be arrested and the shop sealed.
Notably, there are over 500 government liquor shops in Aligarh district alone. Of these, five shops have been sealed while the rest of them have been ordered to stay closed until further notice. The liquor from the sealed shops is being sent for lab testing.
According to social activist Amir Qureshi, the business of selling spurious liquor is very common in Agra and Aligarh divisions and deaths take place due to its consumption almost every month.
Source: India Today