Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday directed officials to check sale of spurious liquor in the state to prevent recurrence of Barbanki-like hooch tragedies, in which at least 17 people had died.
The deaths were reported from Barabanki's Ramnagar area last month. Over three dozen people had also taken ill after consuming spurious liquor.
At a review meeting in Lucknow, Adityanath also directed the officials to find out those responsible for adulteration of alcohol in Barabanki and how long they had been doing this.
"Steps must be taken to curb sale of spurious liquor across the state," he told officials at the meeting.
The chief minister also ordered the officials to find out if the deaths in Barabanki were a result of a conspiracy to defame the state government.
"The officials should try to find out the cause of this incident, whether it was done just for profit or there was a conspiracy to defame the government and create chaos," he said.
"If there is any political interference or the accused are being protected, then also find out those protecting them," he added.
Adityanath directed the officials to work with the local administration and police to crack the whip on those responsible for the deaths in Barabanki.
If necessary, he said, their property should be seized and they should be sent to jail under the National Security Act.
In case of a hooch tragedy, the police station of the specific area will be answerable for illegal production of liquor, the chief minister said.
The local police stations are responsible for checking every liquor shop, he added.
Adityanath also asked the officials to ensure that liquor shops are not located in public places.
The Excise Department is to ensure compliance with fixed distance norms, he said.