At least twenty three people have died Friday and eight others were battling for life at hospitals after allegedly consuming spurious liquor at a village in Haridwar district, prompting the administration to order a magisterial probe into the incident and suspend 17 personnel of excise and police departments.
A number of people took ill Thursday evening after consuming hooch served at the Terahvi (post death ceremony) of a person at Balupur village in Jhabrera area near Roorkee in Haridwar district, ADG (law and order) Ashok Kumar said.
Fourteen out of the 23 persons killed in the incident were from Balupur village and neighbouring areas in Haridwar district whereas the remaining died after returning to their homes in Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh after the ceremony, he said.
Nine persons have died in Saharanpur and four others are serious, Saharanpur SSPDinesh Kumar said.
Four persons are also battling for life at a hospital in Roorkee, ADG Kumar said.
People who had consumed spurious liquor at the feast fell ill last night itself but began to die today morning, he said, adding 30-32 people are said to have consumed spurious liquor at the feast.
A magisterial probe has been ordered into the incident and 13 excise department personnel have been placed under suspension in connection with the hooch tragedy, Haridwar District Magistrate Deepak Rawat said.
Meanwhile, Uttarakhand DGP Anil Raturi said four police department personnel have also been suspended in connection with the incident including SHO Jhabrera Pradeep Mishra.
Taking cognisance of the incident, Uttarakhand Principal Secretary Anand Bardhan has ordered a special drive to identify and penalise people engaged in illicit liquor trade across the state.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)