Lucknow/Unnao: In a major tragedy, 14 people died today, including three of a family in two districts of Uttar Pradesh after consuming spurious liquor and over 100 others were taken ill, police said.
The condition of about 10 others admitted in various hospitals in the state capital is stated to be serious, they said tonight.The incident occurred in Kharta and other villages in Malihabad area of Lucknow and Talasarai village in Hasanganj area of Unnao district, they said.
“Nine persons, including four persons at trauma centre, Lucknow, two each in Balrampur Hospital and Malihabad Community Health Centre and one in the village have died. At present 117 persons are admitted at medical university and six are undergoing treatment at Balrampur hospital,” Chief Medical Officer SNS Yadav told PTI in Lucknow.
Five persons, who consumed illicit liquor in Datli village in Malihabad last night, died in Talasarai village in adjoining Unnao district, Station Incharge Hasanganj Pradeep Yadav said.
Taking a serious note of the incident, Excise Commissioner Anil Garg suspended seven employees of the department, including excise inspector of Malihabad area, and recommended action against District Excise Officer Lucknow Lal Bahadur Yadav.
Besides, Circle Officer, Station Officer, a sub-inspector and three police personnel were placed under suspension in Malihabad, IG (Law and Order) A Satish Ganesh said in Lucknow.He said a case has been lodged against five persons for selling spurious liquor and one arrest has been made. Garg said a probe has been ordered and Joint Excise Commissioner Varanasi will conduct the probe.
The tragedy soon acquired a political hue with UP Congress chief Nirmal Khatri saying the incident exposed incompetence of the Samajwadi Party government.
He charged the state government with concentrating more on realising maximum revenue through the excise department and ignoring lives of the people.
BJP spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak said, “Since SP came to power, the business of spurious liquor is flourishing in the state. A similar tragedy has occurred in the Lok Sabha constituency of SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav in the past and the government is yet to get out of its slumber.”
Cracking the whip Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav directed to suspend sub-divisional magistrate, assistant excise commissioner (enforcement), district excise officer, circle officer of police and station house officer.
Expressing deep sympathies towards the family members of the victim he has announced an ex-gratia of rupees two lakh each.
Taking a serious note of hooch tragedy the CM called a review meeting in which top officials were present.
Akhilesh directed departmental action against joint excise commissioner and sought explanation from the excise commissioner.
He said that free treatment should be provided to those admitted in the hospitals.
The CM said that stern action should be taken against those found guilty.
He directed that a drive should be launched against illicit liquor and said that those involved in it must be arrested.