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Toll touches 87

Toll touches 87

The death toll in the Malvani hooch tragedy has shot up to 87 on Saturday night, even as at least 34 others are battling for life in different hospitals of Mumbai.

The victims were poor, daily-wage earners in jobs like construction, plumbing, electrical and auto-rickshaw driving. “We are in deep trouble. We have lost everything. I have seven children. What I will do?” said Naseema Ansari, who lost her husband in the tragedy. 

“He used to drink, but he used to take care of the kids, too. He was also handicapped, but he worked. However, he could not get over his alcohol addiction,” she said. Plain-clothes policemen and unformed personnel have been deputed in the Malvani area to ensure that no law-and-order disruption takes place.

The samples collected from the shop at the Laxminagar slums and neighbouring areas have been sent for forensic examinations, and initial reports indicate they have excess quantity of methyl alcohol.The hooch was possibly brought in from Vasai creek.

“So far 87 persons have died and 34 are undergoing treatment in various hospitals,” said Mumbai Police spokesperson Dhananjay Kulkarni. Mumbai Police chief Rakesh Maria is personally supervising the investigation.

So far, the Crime Branch-CID of the Mumbai Police has arrested five persons, while several other people have been detained. However, prime accused Mainka Bai, alias Akka, is still at large and detectives have fanned out at multiple locations to track her down.

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