MUMBAI: The death toll in the illicit liquor tragedy in a suburban Mumbai bar shot up to 74 on Saturday with eight more people succumbing to the poisonous brew, officials said here.
It was Maharashtra's second worst such incident in the past 11 years.
Another 21 victims are still undergoing treatment in various hospitals, and the condition of at least a dozen is said to be critical, with a trickle of patients being brought in for treatment.
Police on Friday cracked down on law enforcers by suspending eight officials, including senior Police Inspector of Malwani police station Prakash S. Patil, three officers and four constables, according to Deputy Commissioner of Police Dhananjay Kulkarni.
So far, six people, including a woman, engaged in the bootlegging trade have been caught from various parts of the suburbs while three - Raju Hanumantha alias Langada, Donald Robert and Gautam Arde - were sent to police remand till June 26.
Late Thursday, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis ordered an inquiry into the incident and sought a report within two days.
The victims, from very poor backgrounds, mostly living in Laxmi Nagar slums and employed as low-paying drivers, daily labourers etc, had consumed the cheap country liquor at a bar in Rathodi village here on Wednesday night.
Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria has asked for a report on the incident from local police and ordered that the illicit liquor trade must be completely stopped.
This is the second biggest illicit hooch tragedy to hit the state since December 23, 2004, when hooch claimed 87 lives in two separate incidents in Mumbai.