At least 23 people were killed and many others sickened on Friday due to consumption of spurious liquor in two northern Indian states of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, officials said.
The liquor was consumed by people on Thursday night in Haridwar district of Uttarakhand and adjacent Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh.
“So far 14 people have died because of spurious liquor and many others have been hospitalised,” Nikita Khandelwal, joint Magistrate Rorkee in Haridwar said.
Likewise, in Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh nine deaths have taken place owing to the consumption of spurious alcohol.
“Nine people were killed due to consumption of illicit liquor and 15 others are undergoing treatment,” A K Pandey, District Magistrate Saharanpur said..
“We have directed health officials to provide all possible assistance to the people that have been admitted in hospital because of the tragedy.”
Officials in both the districts say the death toll is likely to go up in wake of the number of people admitted at the hospitals.
According to officials, the people from two districts have purchased the liquor from a common shop.
Reports said after consuming the liquor on Thursday night
the people started vomiting, following which they were rushed to nearby
Officials in Uttar Pradesh say it is the second incident of its kind in the state during past two days.
Earlier, eight people were killed due to illicit liquor in Kushinagar district.
“Eight deaths have been reported due to the consumption of illicit liquor,” Anil Kumar, District Magistrate, Kushinagar told media.
“Nine people have been suspended in connection with the case and investigation is on.”
The death toll in two incidents in Uttar Pradesh alone has gone up to 17.
The governments in both the states have taken cognizance of the deaths due to spurious liquor.
“A case pertaining to deaths due to consumption of illicit liquor has been reported in Roorkee.
The government has suspended 13 officers and four police employees associated with excise department,” a spokesman for Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said.
Meanwhile, Yogi Adityanath, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh has announced a compensation of 2,806 dollars (INR 200,000) to the next of kin of each of those, who died in the tragedy and 700 dollars (INR 50,000) for those taken ill.
“The Chief Minister has asked Principal secretary Excise department to initiate a departmental inquiry to fix responsibility and ordered Director-General of Police take stern action against the people involved in the sale of spurious liquor,” a government spokesman said.
Spurious alcohol deaths are often reported in India, where people often drink cheap country made bootleg liquor.