Hooch tragedy in ‘dry’ Gujarat: Death toll rises to 28; Police register offences against 14 people
The death toll due to the consumption of spurious liquor in Gujarat’s Botad district has gone up to 28, a senior police official said on Tuesday.
The liquor was made from the highly poisonous methyl alcohol, Gujarat Director General of Police Ashish Bhatia told reporters in Gandhinagar.
Three First Information Reports (FIRs) have been registered against 14 people on charge of murder and other offences, and most of them have been detained, he said.
The matter had come to light early Monday morning when some people living in Rojid village in Botad and other surrounding villages were referred to government hospitals in Barvala area and Botad towns after their condition started deteriorating.
Twenty eight people have so far died after consuming the spurious liquor. Of them, 22 belonged to various villages in Botad district while six were from neighbouring Ahmedabad district, Bhatia said. Besides, more than 45 people are currently admitted to hospitals in Bhavnagar, Botad and Ahmedabad, he said. ”A forensic analysis has established that the deceased consumed methyl alcohol. We have booked 14 people on charge of murder and other offences and already detained most of the accused,” Bhatia said.
The Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) and the Ahmedabad crime branch have also joined the investigation.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who is on a visit to Gujarat where the Assembly polls are due later this year, on Monday 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.
Kejriwal on Tuesday said he will visit a hospital in Bhavnagar where some of those who consumed the spurious liquor were admitted.