Seventeen persons died and six others were taken ill allegedly after consuming toddy at Kewathiya village here following which six excise department officials and three policemen were suspended. Police identified the deceased as Subri Paswan (35), Keshav (45), Shivkumar (18), Ram Nayan (70) and Shyamjeet (18).
Superintendent of Police Ajay Kumar Shahni said that it has been found in initial probe all of them consumed toddy, a locally fermented brew from palm tree juice, on Thursday night.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ordered immediate suspension of police station incharge of Raunapar Nadeem Ahmed, SI Santosh Kumar Singh and beat constable Shashi Kumar in connection with the incident.
A departmental inquiry has been initiated against them. Principal secretary (Home) Arvind Kumar said the excise department too suspended its inspector Sanjiv Kumar Singh, head constable Arvind Kumar Singh and four constables-- Shesh Nath Chauhan, Mahendra Singh, Gopal Singh, Motilal Yadav. The bodies were sent for post-mortem to ascertain the exact cause of death.
Meanwhile, the police today seized 750 cartons of illicit liquor, worth Rs 25 lakh, near the Uttar Pradesh-Haryana border in Shamli district. "A police team, led by Station House Officer Bhagat Singh, intercepted a truck coming from Haryana at the Billi checkpost and seized 750 cartons of liquor," said Superintendent of Police (SP) Ajay Pal Sharma.
The truck driver, Pala Singh, was arrested and he confessed that the liquor was being smuggled from Haryana to Lucknow, the SP said.