Consumption of spurious illegal liquor has claimed the lives of 70 people in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, forcing government officials to launch a major crackdown to nab those responsible for distribution of illicit liquor in the states and its neighboring regions.
While 13 people lost their lives in Uttarakhand, the death toll in Uttar Pradesh mounted to 56.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Saturday announced ex gratia of Rs. 2 lakh each to the kin of the deceased and Rs. 50, 000 each to those who are in a critical condition after the consumption of illicit liquor in Roorkee.
Uttar Pradesh Excise Minister Jai Pratap Singh said, "According to the information received from the localities, a person identified as Rajendra Jaispal is involved in the distribution of illicit liquor in the UP-Bihar border along with four other people. The investigation is underway to track these people down."
Anand Kumar, Additional Director General - Law and Order of Uttar Pradesh - said 46 people have died in Saharanpur so far, while 10 people died in Kushinagar due to the consumption of illegal liquor that was created from smuggled substances.
"Some people who went to Haridwar, consumed the illicit liquor and they distributed it to their relatives in Saharanpur when they returned to Uttar Pradesh," he said.
In Kushinagar, Kumar said illegal trafficking of liquor has been suspected to have taken place from Bihar. "The police and excise team across the state are running a dense search to track the culprits," he informed
Meanwhile, Singh said officials are putting in all our efforts to wipe out the menace from the state."Awareness campaigns are being held. Recently, four tankers carrying 1 lakh litre of illicit liquor was seized from Siddharth Nagar, Uttar Pradesh. In another incident, illegal substances worth Rs. 1.5 crore have also been seized by the officials from various parts of the state,"
Ashok Kumar, director general (DG) law and order, Uttarakhand, said doctors are unable to identify the poisonous chemicals that caused the deaths.
"Many people were taken to AIIMS for the treatment and those people who have consumed even a bit are affected badly and unable to recover from the situation. The total number of causalities in the state has been reported 20. We are focusing on the people who involved in the supply and distribution in this case and strict actions will be taken against them."
Haridwar SSP Janmejay Khanduri said five people have been arrested so far.
Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh Police teams are carrying out joint operations and awareness campaigns along the UP-Uttarakhand border.
In a bid to crackdown on the producers of spurious liquor, police and excise department teams are conducting raids in various areas.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)