Hooch toll 33: seven more succumb at different hospitals

Etah : The toll in the recent hooch tragedy in Etah district of Uttar Pradesh today touched 33 after seven more persons succumbed at the hospital in Etah and other district hospitals of the state since last night. Official sources here today said that while four deaths were reported from the district hospital in Farrukhabad, two from Kasganj and one from Etah hospital Around 50 people are admitted to the hospital of which 15 are battling for their lives. However, unconfirmed reports put the death toll at 36 with counting of deaths in other adjoining districts since last night. The hooch tragedy occurred at Johari Darwaza area in Aliganj when locals consumed liquor at a late night get together on July 15. Police sources said more than 100 people fell ill after consuming the spurious liquor. Over 50 people are still battling for their lives in different hospitals. Around six people have also lost their eyesight due to the reaction after consuming the liquor on Friday night, police said. On the other hand, police has arrested the main accused in supplying the hooch identified as Sripal from Nayagaon area.

On the directive by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, around 12 officials of the excise and police have been suspended so far. Of the suspended, three officials were of Excise department, along with a Circle Officer and a Station Officer and other policemen. A magistrate probe has also been ordered in the incident. Circle Officer of Aliganj Asaram Ahirwar and Station Officer of Aliganj police station have been suspended. District Excise Officer of Etah, Excise Inspector and a constable were suspended for dereliction of duty. Joint and Deputy Excise Commissioners have visited the site of the tragedy in Etah. District Magistrate of Etah has been asked to take necessary action for ensuring relief and treatment of the survivors. Meanwhile, a team of the BJP led by local MP Rajveer Singh would be reaching Etah this afternoon to probe into the reason behind the hooch. The BJP team will also enquire the nexus between the police and the excise officials with the criminals leading to this tragedy. Selling of hooch is common in UP with more than 100 people have died during the past couple of years. While last year, more than 50 people have died after they consumed spurious liquor in the rural belt of Lucknow adjoining Hardoi and Unnao, in 2013 more than 35 people have died in Hooch in Azamgarh. Reports of death due to hooch frequently pour in from the Unnao district.

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