Hooch tragedy toll climbs to 47, six critical

Lucknow: The death toll in the hooch tragedy in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand went up to 47 on Saturday evening, an official said.

As per latest reports, 11 persons have died in Kushinagar district, while 36 have succumbed after consuming spurious liquor in Saharanpur district of western UP.

District Magistrate (DM) of Saharanpur, Alok Kumar Pandey, told IANS that so far 36 deaths are confirmed but the number could go higher with more deaths reported from neighbouring Meerut.

“Three other persons undergoing treatment locally are showing signs of improvement, while six have been referred to the Meerut Medical College as they are critical” he said.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each to the kin of the deceased.

According to officials, the victims had attended a funeral in neighbouring Balupur, Haridwar, and had consumed liquor there. They fell ill thereafter.

Meanwhile, the state police, at the instructions of the Chief Minister, has started a crackdown on illicit liquor manufacture and sales.

Raids have been conducted in various parts of the state including Banda where a large quantity of illicit liquor was seized. The state government has already suspended the District Excise Officer and District Excise Inspector of Kushinagar, among many others.

Meanwhile, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Congress general secretary in-charge of western UP, expressed anguish over the deaths and tweeted that he has since spoken to Saharanpur DM, seeking details of the tragedy.