Spurious alcohol kills over 70 people in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand
The five-member SIT has been specifically asked to find out if there was any conspiracy angle.
More than 70 people died after consuming hooch in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. On February 10, the Uttar Pradesh government announced a probe by a Special Investigation Team (SIT), which will submit a report within 10 days. Photo: PTI
What is hooch?
Hooch is a colloquial term for illegally manufactured alcohol. It is a concentrated form of alcohol diluted with additives such as methanol and battery acid to make it more commercially feasible. Across India, in many small villages, it is sold for Rs 30 or less.
Blame games have begun
BSP supremo Mayawati said the tragedy was due to “sheer callousness” of the BJP government.
"In the past too, such type of mischievous acts by SP leaders have come to fore. In Azamgarh, Hardoi, Kanpur and Barabanki, SP leaders were found to be involved in past hooch tragedies. We can't deny conspiracy this time too,” said Uttar Pradesh CM Adityanath.
Priyanka Gandhi, the newly appointed general secretary in charge of East UP, also demanded that the BJP government ensure strict punishment is meted out to those responsible for the tragedy.
Progress so far
In Uttar Pradesh, over 200 persons have been arrested and cases have been registered against another 297. Furthermore, 49 cases have been registered in Uttarakhand. Over 79,000 litres of the spurious alcohol has been seized.
The circle officers from two badly affected districts in UP – Saharanpur and Kushinagar – have been suspended.
Upcoming goal for the two governments
The death toll in Uttarakhand’s Haridwar district rose to 36 on Sunday, with 11 more people succumbing. Adityanath said he had spoken to his Uttarakhand counterpart Trivendra Singh Rawat and asked him to share details.
The five-member SIT has been specifically asked to find out if there is any conspiracy angle, review past instances, and suggest measures to stop such incidents from occurring again.
The UP government has announced an ex-gratia of Rs two lakh for the next of kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 each for those undergoing treatment.