Hooch tragedy: Death toll climbs to 70 after deaths in Haridwar, Saharanpur

Erika Holt
February 10, 2019

At least 23 people were killed and many others sickened on Friday due to consumption of spurious liquor in two northern Indian states of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, officials said.

Eight more deaths were reported in another tragedy blamed on tainted liquor in Kushinagar district, also in Uttar Pradesh, regional official BD Gupta said.

All the victims, who were in the age group of 35 to 55 years, belong to Bindu, Kharak, Baalupur and Bhalaswagaj villages, located in Bhagwanpur area of Haridwar district bordering Saharanpur district, where the toll was even higher. NDTV delivers reliable information across all platforms: TV, Internet and Mobile.

Haridwar Superintendent of Police (SP) confirmed that the death toll increased to 14 from 12.

Around two dozen people have lost their lives in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand in the last 24 hours after reportedly consuming illicit alcohol, reports said.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has ordered a probe into the incident and announced an ex gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to the next of kin of those who died and Rs 50,000 each to those undergoing treatment.

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CM Adityanath has instructed Chief Secretary Excise Joint operation and Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) to take strict action against those responsible.

According to officials, the people from two districts have purchased the liquor from a common shop.

While the Haridwar district administration also reported 13 deaths in the hooch tragedy, it was not immediately known if the figures included the fatalities on the UP side or not. Besides, four cops, including SHO Tarya Sujan police station, have been sent to the police line.

Spurious alcohol deaths are often reported in India, where people often drink cheap country made bootleg liquor. The reports said that the deceased had consumed alcohol during a funeral procession.

As per locals, there was a fair in the village on the occasion of Mauni Amavasya and a lot of people had consumed the spurious liquor.

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