Aligarh hooch tragedy: Death toll rises to 36, officials suspended
(Sourced from PTI)
The death toll in the Aligarh hooch tragedy rose to 36 on Monday with authorities confirming 11 more deaths, even as the Uttar Pradesh government cracked the whip on UP Excise Commissioner P Guruprasad, and suspended two other senior officials. Confirming the development, Additional Chief Secretary (Appointment) Mukul Singhal said Guruprasad has been removed and replaced by Rigzian Sampheal (currently on waiting).
In another statement, Circle Officer Gabhana Karamveer Singh has been suspended, while a clarification has been sought from Circle Officer Khair Shiv Pratap Singh and Circle Officer (City-3) Vishal Chaudhary within three days. Viscera samples of 35 others, who are suspected to have died after consuming spurious liquor, have been sent for examination, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. Bhanu Pratap Kalyani said.
Meanwhile, ten persons allegedly involved directly and indirectly in the trade of illicit liquor were arrested on Monday as raids continued for the third successive day all over the district. Senior Superintendent of Police Kalanidhi Naithani said that with Monday's arrests, the total number of persons arrested since Friday has reached 30. This includes 11 persons who had been booked on Friday.
Of the 12 persons who had been named in three different reports on Friday, now only one person is still eluding the police. Among those arrested on Monday are some persons who were involved in the manufacture of alcohol-based products. A large number of vehicles have also been seized. Police parties are checking roadside eateries to ensure that no illicit liquor is sold.
The SSP said the process of confiscating the properties of those found to be involved in the illicit liquor trade has also started. CMO Kalyani said, "A total of 71 bodies arrived at the post-mortem house from Friday to Monday forenoon. Liquor poisoning has been confirmed as the cause of death for 36." The post-mortem of the remaining 35 bodies has also been conducted.
Commissioner, Aligarh Division, Gaurav Dayal held a meeting to review the situation and instructed officials to continue raids. Meanwhile, three people in the Chandana locality under the Kwarsi Police Station area in Aligarh fell ill early morning yesterday after consuming spurious liquor. As of Sunday, 11 of the 12 people, including kingpin Anil Chaudhary, booked in connection with the hooch tragedy had been arrested.
In a statement, SSP Naithani said two inspectors under Tappal Police Station were suspended on Sunday. The station house officer of Akrabad Police Station and another inspector were also suspended. Joint Excise Commissioner, Agra Zone, Ravi Shankar Pathak was suspended with Joint Excise Commissioner, Lucknow, Dheeraj Singh given the additional charge of Agra zone. Deputy Excise Commissioner, Aligarh, OP Singh has also been suspended.