15 die in UP after consuming hooch

Some victims have lost vision; 24 critical

15 die in UP after consuming hooch

At least 15 people were killed after consuming spurious liquor in two Uttar Pradesh districts. According to police sources here, as many as 60 people were admitted to hospital and the death toll is likely to go up as the condition of around 24 were said to be critical, including some who have lost their vision.

Attending doctors have said it is unlikely that victims who lost their vision will get it back. Sources said 12 people died after consuming spurious liquor at different villages in the Malihabad area, barely 30 kilometers from the state capital. Three others died after consuming hooch in the neighbouring Unnao district.

All the victims had consumed “kachhi”, a locally made liquor, on Sunday night. They complained of vomiting, nausea and loss of vision after a couple of hours.

Reports said many died within a few hours of consuming the spurious liquor. The state government suspended one excise inspector and four excise constables on charges of dereliction in duty and a magisterial inquiry was ordered. Teams of doctors are camping at affected villages and ambulances have been pressed into service to ferry patients to hospitals.

Son of hooch seller dead
In Datari village, over a hundred people consumed spurious liquor, including the son of the hooch seller who died at a hospital on Monday morning.

Forty-year-old Ram Sagar consumed hooch from his mother’s shop, where residents from about 12 villages had bought liquor.

His mother, an elderly woman, has been selling hooch for many years at Datari, a village which is said to be infamous for the spurious liquor trade. Almost all who fell victim are residents of villages within a radius of one to two kilometers around Datari.

“Hooch is prepared in almost every home in Datari. The local police never act against the traders,” said Rajesh, a resident of the village. Rajesh’s two brothers had consumed the spurious liquor and are battling for their lives at medical college.

He had rushed them to hospital when their condition after drinking the hooch worsened around midnight.

Rajesh said many small-time traders buy hooch in bulk from Datari and sell it in the nearby villages at higher rates. “Locals had requested the police to act against the hooch traders but no action was taken,” he rued.

“The cops would come, demolish a few furnaces and detain some people only to release them a few hours later and business would go on as usual.”

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