Saran hooch tragedy toll climbs to 20


PATNA: The toll in the Saran hooch tragedy climbed to 20 on Wednesday while several others are still hospitalised, police said.

“The toll is expected to climb,” said a police official familiar with the matter.

Chhapra civil surgeon Dr. Sagar Dulal Sinha confirmed that so far 17 post-mortems had been conducted in Sadar hospital.

Unconfirmed reports, however, put the toll at 25.

ADG (headquarter) Jitendra Singh Gangwar, however, confirmed only 10 deaths. “Five others are undergoing treatment in the hospital. Saran district magistrate (DM) and superintendent of police (SP) are camping at the spot. Raids are on to arrest those involved in the illegal liquor business. More than 30 persons have been detained and many of them will be forwarded to judicial custody,” Gangwar said.

Bihar’s excise minister Sunil Kumar said that the matter is being probed and three persons have been arrested so far.

BJP MP from Maharaajganj, Janardhan Singh Sigriwal raised the issue of the Saran hooch tragedy in Lok Sabha and claimed that 35 persons have died. He demanded immediate suspension of Saran SP.

People of villages affected by the hooch tragedy identified the dead as—Bichendra Rai, Harendra Ram, Ramji Shah, Amit Ranjan Sinha, Sanjay Singh, Kunal Singh, Ajay Giri, Mukesh Sharma, Bharat Ram, Jaydev Singh, Manoj Ram, Mangal Rai, Nasir Hussain, Ramesh Ram, Chandra Ram, Vikki Mahto, Lallan Ram, Govind Rai, Premchand Shah, and Dinesh Thakur—all residents of Mashrakh, Ishuapur, and Amnaur police stations area.

The police are searching for more people who could be ill but are in hiding to avoid interrogation.

Dr Dhananjay Kumar, who treated two patients told reporters that the victims might have consumed poisonous liquid. Dr K K Dubey of Chhapra sadar hospital said viscera are being preserved and will be sent for an FSL test to ascertain the cause of death.

Family members of the deceased alleged that more than 50 persons consumed country-made liquor at Doyla village on Tuesday evening. Hours after they started vomiting and complained of nausea, headache, and uneasiness following which their family members admitted them to a hospital. Fifteen others complained of loss of vision and are undergoing treatment at Masrakh health centre and Chhapra sadar hospital. Five of them, including one Amit Kumar, were referred to the Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) in critical condition.

Saran DM Rajesh Meena said that the cause of the death could be ascertained only after the post-mortem. “I have got reports about the six deaths and investigation is on. We have also talked to the villagers and urged them to report fearlessly about liquor smuggling. No innocent will be harassed. A medical team rushed to the village,” said the DM.

“In the last six years, 1,000 people had died after consuming liquor. So far, six lakh people have been jailed, and 10,000 litres of liquor are seized every day. The government should accept its failure” said BJP Rajya Sabha MP Sushil Kumar Modi.

Meanwhile, angry villagers blocked the state highway near Hanuman Chowk, disrupted vehicular traffic, and demanded compensation to the next kin of the deceased. They shouted slogans against the administration demanding action against those involved in the incident.

They alleged that one Uma Singh of Ishuapur is running an illegal liquor manufacturing unit in the area for the last few years with the connivance of local police and excise officials. “Concerned officials were aware of the illegal trade but never bothered to stop it. The smuggling and sale of liquor happen with the connivance of the local police/ excise department and it goes on unabated,” said the angry protestors.

Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here