42 fall prey to spurious liquor across Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand

At least 28 people died on Friday after drinking spurious liquor in UP’s Saharanpur and Kushinagar districts.

Published: 08th February 2019 05:36 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th February 2019 08:46 PM   |  A+A-

alcohol, prohibition, liquor

For representational purposes (Express Illustrations)

Express News Service

LUCKNOW: At least 42 people were killed after consuming spurious liquor in across Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand on Friday. While 18 people died in Saharanpur district of western UP, 10 died in
Kushinagar bordering Bihar in eastern UP and 14 people were dead in Roorkee and the toll is likely to go up. Scores from all three districts were admitted to hospitals in critical condition.

At least 28 people died on Friday after drinking spurious liquor in UP’s Saharanpur and Kushinagar districts. As per the local sources, in Roorkee and Saharanpur, people consumed the same illicit liquor which was brought from Haridwar. The liquor which claimed so many lives in Saharanpur and Roorkee was claimed to be treated with a chemical.

While UP CM Yogi Adityanath ordered a magisterial probe into the tragedy announcing an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh for next kin deceased, Rs 50,000 would be given to those took ill after consuming the liquor
and were under the treatment.

The CM entrusted the state DGP OP Singh to identify and fix responsibility of those who were responsible for the tragedy. The UP Chief Minister has also directed the principal secretary, excise department to carry out a campaign for 15 days across the state to destroy all the illegal units running and manufacturing spurious liquor initiating legal action against those involved in the trade. He has asked to initiate departmental action against District Excise Officers.

In fact, in Kushinagar, the trail of death has been continuing since Thursday when six persons had died after consuming liquor at a birthday party in Bedupur village under Tarya Sujan police station area.

Following the incident, in Kushinagar, the district bordering Bihar in eastern UP, the district magistrate Anil Kumar claimed to have suspended 10 persons including six  excise officials including the district excise officer, excise inspector, two head constables and two constables and four cops  including SHO Tarya Sujan police station in the case.

In Saharanpur, where 18 persons from six villages fell victim to the illicit liquor, the axe of action has fallen over 10 cops including the SHO of Nagal police station, three chowki in-charges and six
constables.

Meanwhile, in Roorkee, Uttarakhand, where 14 persons were dead due to the tragedy,  the administration suspended 13 excise officials in connection with the case. Reacting to tragedy while deputy CM Keshav Maurya and state health minister Siddharth Nath Singh called the incident
unfortunate and assured of the strictest action against the culprits, state excise minister Jai Pratap Singh said that in Kushinagar, a liquor trader Rajendra Jaiswal was found to be smuggling hooch from
neighbouring Bihar and selling it in Kushinagar. “Jaiwal has been arrested and sent to jail. Stricter action will be initiated against the lax excise officials after the probe into the incident,” said the minister.

On the other, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav accused the state government of letting those involved in illegal trade of hooch operate mindfully. “The government knows everything,” he claimed. However, the Uttar Pradesh government in 2017, had framed a law against those responsible for the deaths or permanent
disability of people after consuming spurious liquor will attract death penalty or life imprisonment. The new law aimed at cracking down on the nexus between excise department employees and illicit liquor traders.

"The BJP-ruled state Cabinet had approved changes to the existing Excise Act, 1910, to incorporate the extreme punishment in cases of hooch deaths," said a senior excise official.

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