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Hooch Tragedy: Toll Touches 150, Condition of Many Victims Critical

Hooch Tragedy: Toll Touches 150, Condition of Many Victims Critical

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  25 Feb 2019 3:20 AM GMT

GUWAHATI: Death continued to haunt the tea workers in Upper Assam on Sunday with the official toll in the hooch tragedy in Golaghat and Jorhat districts going up to 150. The toll is likely to go up further. While 92 people died in Golaghat, 58 others (43 men, 15 women) died in Jorhat till Sunday evening.

“A total of 92 people died in Golaghat district after consuming spurious liquor. Close to 100 people are undergoing treatment in Golaghat. The rush of new patients has come down since the afternoon,” said Golaghat Deputy Commissioner Dhiren Hazarika. He said cases have already been registered against several accused persons both by the police and excise department.

The Deputy Commissioner of Jorhat, Roshni Korati told The Sentinel that 58 people had died in the district till Sunday due to the hooch tragedy.

The tragedy has caused widespread repercussions across the State forcing the government to take actions against the brewing and sale of illegal local liquor across the State. Excise Minister Parimal Suklabaidya who visited Golaghat district to take stock of the health condition of those undergoing treatment, had to face angry mobs outside the hospital and streets. Many people shouted slogans against the government’s failure to prevent such a man-made disaster.

The State Government has already announced Rs 2 lakh as compensation to the families of those died and Rs 50,000 for those undergoing treatment. Chief Secretary Alok Kumar and DGP Kuladhar Saikia have been asked to take steps on a war footing to stop production of illegal and spurious liquor in the State and hunt down the culprits behind the hooch tragedy. Additional DGP (Law & Order) Mukesh Agarwal is conducting the police inquiry into the incident.

A senior spokesperson of the Excise Department said that 90 cases have been registered against unauthorized sale and production of hooch and violation of excise law.

“We have seized and destroyed 4,860 litres of illegal liquor since February 22,” he said.

The tragedy occurred after a large number of people consumed the spurious liquor on Thursday night at the Salmora tea estate in Golaghat, 300 km from Guwahati, and at two remote villages in Titabor sub-division of Jorhat district.

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