Hooch claims seven lives in dry Gujarat, 10 admitted in hospitals; 3 bootleggers detained

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At least seven persons died and ten others were admitted to different hospitals after consuming spurious liquor at Rojid village in Botad district of Gujarat, a senior police officer said on Monday.

Police detained three bootleggers from the Botad district who were allegedly involved in selling spurious country-made liquor, said Gujarat Director General of Police (DGP) Ashish Bhatia.

“Seven persons have died so far after consuming spurious liquor while around 10 others are currently admitted to different hospitals. Three persons were detained by police for questioning,” said Bhatia.

The matter came to light after some residents of Rojid village in Barvala taluka and some other surrounding villages were referred to government hospitals in Barvala and Botad towns after their health started deteriorating early Monday morning.

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While two persons died in the morning another five lost their lives while undergoing treatment during the day, said Bhatia.

Most of the deceased are labourers. Earlier in the day, the wife of a victim undergoing treatment had told reporters that her husbands condition started deteriorating hours after he consumed hooch at Rojid village on Sunday night.

One Himmatbhai, who is recovering, claimed at least 15 people fell ill after consuming the hooch they had purchased from a bootlegger on Sunday night. Inspector General of Police (Bhavnagar range), Ashok Kumar Yadav, visited the Botad civil hospital in the evening. He said a Special Investigation Team (SIT) under a Deputy Superintendent of Police-rank officer will be formed to probe the incident and nab bootleggers who sold the spurious liquor. Terming the incident “unfortunate” Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who is on Gujarat visit, alleged that illegal liquor is being sold in large quantities in Gujarat where prohibition is in place. He alleged that people selling illicit liquor are enjoying political protection and demanded a probe into the “trail” of money generated by selling booze.

“It is unfortunate that despite prohibition, illegal liquor is sold in huge quantities in Gujarat. Who are the people who sell illegal liquor? They enjoy political protection. Where does the money (generated by selling illegal liquor) go? This needs to be probed,” he told reporters in Porbandar. The Gujarat Prohibition Act, earlier known as the Bombay Prohibition Act, 1949, empowers the police to arrest a person for purchasing, consuming or serving alcohol without a permit with punishment ranging from three months to five years in prison. It also penalises the transporting of liquor.


(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)

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