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Spurious liquor claims 14 lives in UP

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Press Trust of India Barabanki (UP)
At least 14 people died and around 40 others were taken ill after consuming spurious liquor in Uttar Pradesh's Barabanki district, officials said on Tuesday.
The incident prompted the Yogi Adityanath government to order a high-level probe into all the angles, including the possibility of a "political conspiracy".
At least 12 people, including four members of a family, died due to consumption of the spurious liquor, Superintendent of Police Ajay Sahni said in a statement.
Two persons died at the trauma centre of a Lucknow hospital. Thirty-three people are undergoing treatment and the condition of two is critical, KGMU hospital spokesperson Sandeep Tiwari told PTI.
Five to six others have been brought to the Balrampur and Ram Manohar Lohia hospitals in Lucknow, a minister said.
Hospital sources said the toll may increase as many others are battling for life.
Locals from Raniganj and adjoining villages consumed the liquor purchased from a shop in Ramnagar area -- around 60 km northeast of Lucknow -- on Monday night. They were rushed to a community health centre after falling ill in the morning, police said.
The tragedy led to the suspension of 10 excise and two police officers, Excise Minister Jai Pratap Singh said.
Barabanki Excise Officer Shiv Narayan Dube, Excise Inspector Ramtirath Maurya, three head constables and five constables of the excise department have been suspended with immediate effect. Circle Officer Pawan Gautam and Station House Officer Rajesh Kumar Singh have also been suspended on the charges of dereliction of duty, the minister said.
He said the excise commissioner, joint and deputy commissioners were rushed to the spot, adding that directives had been issued to ensure all medical facilities to those undergoing treatment.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has set up a high-level committee, comprising the Ayodhya inspector general and the excise commissioner, to probe into the incident and submit a report within 48 hours, cabinet minister Sidharth Nath Singh said.
The minister said the committee will also look into any "political conspiracy" angle, adding Adityanath had directed senior officials to take stern action against all those found guilty.
Earlier this year, after a major hooch tragedy in the state and in Uttarakhand that claimed around 100 lives, Adityanath had suggested the involvement of the Samajwadi Party in "such mischievous acts" and promised action against those involved in the illicit liquor trade irrespective of their political association.
The chief minister announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh for each of the deceased. They have been identified as Raju Singh (30), Rajesh (35), Ramesh Kumar (35), Sonu (25), Mukesh (28), Chhotelal (60), Suryabaksh, Rajendra Verma, Shiv Kumar (38), Mahendra, Ramshare (20), Mahesh Singh (45), Ram Swaroop (50) and Vinay Shankar (35), officials said.
Meanwhile, police unearthed a factory in Mathura where spurious liquor was being prepared.
"Acting on a tip-off, a police party led by Deputy SP Ramesh Chandra Tewari unearthed the illegal liquor making factory and arrested 10 persons. A hunt for seven persons, who are also a part of the gang, is on," SP (City) Rajesh Kumar Singh said.
Fifty-five boxes of India-made and English wine, 77 cans of spirit, two drums filled with 20 litres of liquor, 1,500 grams of intoxicating powder, two bags of Urea besides three cars were seized from their possession, he said.

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First Published: May 28 2019 | 11:30 PM IST

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