Friday, June 21, 2024
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Hooch toll climbs to 131

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Canning/Kolkata: With over 70 people dying in three hospitals after consuming toxic liquor, the death toll in the hooch tragedy in West Bengal’s South 24 Parganas district on Thursday climbed to 131 as police arrested seven persons and the government ordered a CID inquiry.

Authorities fear that the toll would rise further as at least 50 people are in a critical state after consuming the spurious liquor on Wednesday. “The hooch toll has risen to 131 and over 100 are still in three different hospitals, many of whom are still battling for life,” South 24-Parganas district Chief Medical Officer (Health) Shikha Adhikari told reporters at Diamond Harbour.

The CMO(H) said that condition of at least 50 was still critical. She said that of 327 victims admitted to Diamond Harbour sub-divisional hospital, 36 were declared brought dead, 70 later died and 56 were referred to state-run M R Bangur hospital in Kolkata. Nineteen of the 56 victims died in M R Bangur hospital while six died in National Medical College and Hospital, she said.

The victims were mostly labourers, rickshaw-pullers and hawkers. They fell ill hours after consuming illicit liquor from different joints around Sangrampur, near here, since yesterday morning.

“Many are still battling for life in the three hospitals after consuming spurious liquor’,” the CMO(H) said. Announcing a CID inquiry into the hooch tragedy in the state Assembly, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said seven persons had been arrested on the basis of preliminary administrative enquiry into the incident.

The chief minister said something toxic was mixed in the liquor and the owner of the liquor den Badshah Khokon, named in the FIR, was absconding.

Observing that trade in illicit liquor has been going on for a long time in the state and it is a social problem. (PTI)

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