Aligarh hooch tragedy death toll mounts to 25

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The death toll in the Aligarh hooch tragedy climbed to 25 on Sunday, officials here said.

BJP MP from Aligarh, Satish Gautam, however, said according to information gathered by him, the toll had crossed 35.

Speaking to reporters, Mr. Gautam said his figures were based on inputs collected by him from different villages “where many victims have been cremated without conducting a post-mortem examination.”

Asked why there was a difference between official figures and the information collected by him, the MP said, “There is no question of hiding anything. A person who has been a victim of this tragedy will ultimately find his name on the official death list.” According to district officials, the victims were limited to Aligarh’s Lodha block on the first day but have now spread to at least four more blocks.

Meanwhile, Lodha police station in-charge Abhay Kumar Sharma has been suspended for dereliction of duty, according to an official announcement made on Saturday. The first death in the hooch tragedy was reported in this police station area.

The district authorities have been sending teams to villages to urge people not to consume any liquor bought a week ago.

On Sunday afternoon, a row broke out at a post-mortem house when some staff members allegedly tried to prevent media persons from taking pictures of bodies lined up there.

With the issue threatening to blow up, Mr. Gautam rushed to the spot and managed to calm down the frayed tempers of media persons. He said necessary action would be taken in this matter.

He reiterated that there would be no attempt to hide casualties in the hooch tragedy.

District Magistrate Chandra Bhushan Singh said a magisterial probe would reveal the exact death toll.

According to reports, some victims had consumed the killer brew even a day after the first deaths were reported on Friday.

Joint raid

Meanwhile, the Excise department and the police conducted a joint raid in the district’s Tappal block and arrested one person with a large stock of illicit liquor.

Acting on a tip-off, the house of Monu Srichand in Nurpur village under the Tappal police station was raided and 243 pouches of illicit liquor were seized, said Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Kalanidhi Naithani.

Srichand had been booked under the Excise Act, the officer said.

Mr. Naithani said police teams and administrative staff were combing rural areas and cautioning residents against consuming any liquor purchased a week ago. They were also checking the stock at liquor vends across the district.

Officials are seizing liquor pouches to help identify the spurious liquor stock that found its way to government-authorised vends.

Mr. Naithani had said on Saturday that five people had been arrested so far, including Anil Chaudhary, the alleged kingpin of the spurious liquor racket.

A reward of ₹50,000 each has been announced for the arrest of Anil Chaudhary’s associates Rishi Sharma and Vipin Yadav, he had said.

As many as 12 people have been booked in three different cases. Several raids were carried out in various parts of the district.

The district magistrate has recommended an ex gratia of ₹5 lakh for the kin of the deceased.

Disclaimer: This post has not been edited by our staff and is published from a syndicated feed. The Original Source of this post can be found at Source link

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