Hooch tragedy: Priyanka Gandhi urges UP, U’khand govt to provide jobs for kin of deceased

New Delhi: Eastern Uttar Pradesh General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Sunday expressed grief over the death of more than 100 people in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh due to illicit liquor consumption and demanded an appropriate compensation and provision of government jobs for kin of the deceased.

“I am sad and stunned by the death of more than 100 people in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh due to illicit liquor. This is condemnable. It couldn’t have been imagined that the trade of illicit liquor flourished at such a large scale in the two states,” Priyanka said in a statement.

She further appealed the BJP-ruled governments in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand to take stringent action against all the accused in the case.

“It is not possible to imagine that such a big business of illegal liquor is operated in Uttarakhand and the government of Uttar Pradesh. I hope that the BJP Governments will be subjected to take strict action against the criminals and appropriate compensation and provision of government jobs will be made for the families of the deceased. I express my condolences to bereaved families,” she said.

Etah police today conducted a raid at an illicit liquor production factory near Nagla Madiya village and arrested the manager while three people managed to escape. Around 50-litre illicit liquor was recovered from his possession and was later destroyed by police. Equipment to produce alcohol were also seized from the site.

In Saharanpur, locals sat in protest and blocked road against the deaths due to consumption of illicit liquor. One of the protestors said: “Our children should get free of cost education. Women who lost their husbands should be given jobs. Culprits should be given strict punishment.”

The death toll due to consumption of illicit liquor in Uttarakhand’s Roorkee touched 32 on Saturday. Total 31 liquor traders were arrested in connection with the deaths that occurred due to consumption of illicit liquor. 509 quarters of country-made liquor and 91 litres raw liquor were seized from them, said an official.

Uttarakhand government has suspended 13 employees of Excise Department including the Excise Inspector of Roorkee region after 70 people lost their lives following the consumption of spurious liquor in the state and Uttar Pradesh. A show cause notice has also been issued to the higher officials of the Enforcement Wing of Excise Department for dereliction of duty. A magisterial inquiry has already been initiated in the hooch tragedy.

Meanwhile, as many as 46 people lost their lives in Saharanpur and 10 in Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh after consuming illicit liquor. The authorities also claimed to have seized 965 bulk litre of illicit liquor in just one day (from 8 February to 9 February).

Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh Police teams are carrying out joint operations along the UP-Uttarakhand border.