AZAMGARH: Five more people have died due to the consumption of toddy in Kewathiya village in the district as the toll from the incident mounted to 12.
The police meanwhile said 30 illicit liquor manufacturing units and 10,000 litres of the substance have been destroyed. Another 1,100 litres have been seized.
Fifteen people are undergoing treatment at the district hospital and BHU hospital in Varanasi, Azamgarh District Magistrate Chandra Bhushan Singh said at a press conference here.
He said a post-mortem examination was conducted on 14 people and only two of those deaths were not caused by toddy consumption. "The viscera of 14 persons (whose post-mortem had been done), has been preserved.
The people who died were poor, and efforts are being made to give them some benefit from various government schemes," the DM said.
Warning officials of the excise department, the DM said, "If any case of death due to consumption of illicit liquor is reported, then FIRs will be lodged against officials concerned."
Superintendent of Police Ajay Kumar Sahni, the chief medical officer and excise officials were also present at the press conference.
Sahni said so far 18 persons including the main acused, Munna Rajbhar, have been arrested by the police and 3 have been nabbed by the excise department officials.
He claimed that the family members of some the deceased deliberately tried to conceal the reasons of the death.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had taken a strong note of the deaths after which three policemen and six employees of the Excise Department were suspended.