In a ghastly trail of spurious liquor deaths in Uttar Pradesh, six people have died and at least 15 admitted to a hospital after allegedly consuming suspected illicit liquor in a village in the state’s Prayagraj district.
The tragedy took place on Friday (November 20) in Amilia village.
Even as the authorities investigated the matter, more such deaths were reported from western UP’s Hapur district, where 11 people are said to have died in the last two days.
In the Prayagraj case, locals said the victims consumed country liquor from a shop. Soon after, several people fell ill. The husband-wife who ran the liquor shop have been arrested based on initial evidence.
Prayagraj District Magistrate Bhanu Chandra Goswami said the exact cause of the deaths can be confirmed only after autopsies and sample reports of the liquor.
“A team of district officials reached Amilia village after receiving information about the deaths due to consumption of illicit liquor,” the official said, adding that the samples of liquor have been sent for testing.
Local residents said the liquor shop owners have a number of cases against them for selling smuggled liquor and yet they have around three liquor shops in the area.
“Even after selling stolen liquor and fake liquor, these people have been running three shops in the area, there are so many cases against them,” said a local resident.
Meanwhile, in Hapur, 11 people reportedly died over the past 48 hours on Friday, allegedly after consuming spurious liquor. While police attributed the deaths to natural causes, officials of the district administration and excise department are probing the deaths.
Local resident said some of the victims had bought country made liquor from a nearby area and had consumed it in the last few days. Sarita Sharma, a relative of one of those dead, said: “I saw his condition deteriorate as he consumed the liquor. There was foam in his mouth and he had fever. By the time he was tended to in the hospital, he died.” The Excise Department has launched a drive against sale of illicit liquor till December 3.
Early last year, more than 100 people had died in just three days after consuming adulterated liquor in the state and neighbouring Uttarakhand. Officials say while 36 died in Western Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur district, eight deaths were reported from eastern UP’s Kushinagar. In Uttarkhand, 28 deaths were reported.
Since 2011, illicit liquor has claimed the lives of over 175 people across the state.