LUCKNOW: Seven persons died and over half a dozen are critically ill after allegedly drinking spurious liquor in Kewatia village in Azamgarh district of UP on Friday.
Five of the victims in the tragedy is said to have consumed the dodgy liquor on Wednesday night and suffered ill-effects immediately thereafter. They were rushed to the local hospital but succumbed Friday morning. They were named as Ramvriksha (70), Charitra (85), Shivkumar (18), Shyam preet (40) and Ramnayan (70).
Those who have fallen ill are being treated in different hospitals in the Azamgarh district. They were identified as Sadur (35), Durgvijay(25), Tapanju (55), Bajrangi (55), Balchand (60), Manoj (26), and Vijay Narain (25).
A K Sahni, the senior superintendent of police (SSP) of Azamgarh, said toddy and food poisoning seemed to have been the cause but added that the facts would be established only after the post-mortem reports come in.
However, villagers said the victims drank hooch. According to the gram pradhan (village head) Kewatia, the local police were tipped off about the supply of spurious liquor in the area but did not crack down on the peddlers.
Sources said the affected village was indeed a hub of hooch. The peddling had been going on right under the nose of the police.
The SSP has initiated action against local officers. He suspended the station house officer and beat officer of Raunakpur, and recommended action against excise officials.
Two other deaths – that of Sobri (40) and Keshav (42) of Rasoolpur and Odhra Salempur villages respectively – were also attributed to spurious liquor. Authorities, however, were tight-lipped over the incident.