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Chandigarh: The death toll in the Punjab hooch tragedy rose to 86 with 48 more people reported dead on Saturday after drinking spurious liquor, prompting the state government to suspend seven excise and six police officials.
Sixty-three of the deaths were reported from Tarn Taran district, 12 in Amritsar and 11 in Gurdaspur’s Batala, officials said.
The tragedy has been unfolding since Wednesday evening in the three Punjab districts.
Twenty-five people have been arrested so far amid opposition criticism and demands for the resignation of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who has warned of strict action against anyone found complicit in the case.
According to an official statement, the suspended officials included two deputy superintendents of police and four station house officers.
The first deaths were reported in Amritsar’s Muchhal village on Wednesday evening. By Friday night, according to official figures, 38 people had died. By Saturday night, the toll has risen sharply with 48 more deaths being reported during the day.
Officials here did not give any figures on the number of people still admitted to hospitals after drinking illegally distilled liquor. (PTI)