Fourteen people died and three fell ill in Panipat and Sonepat after allegedly consuming adulterated liquor on Thursday.
Seven people died and three were hospitalised in Panipat after they allegedly consumed spurious liquor. The deceased have been identified as Bijender Singh, Balbir Singh, Sat Pal and Islam of Dhansoli village, Sushil and Mehar Singh of Nangla Paar village and Shiv Kumar of Rana Majra village. Ramesh of Kala-Amb, Inder and Ratna Ram of Dhansoli have been hospitalised and their condition is critical.
The cause of the death has not been ascertained yet but police officials associated with the investigation said it is suspected that the victims had consumed spurious liquor. Relatives who came to claim the bodies at the civil hospital said the victims had liquor before their death.
Panipat superintendent of police Manisha Chaudhary has formed a special investigation team under the Panipat DSP (crime) Rajesh Phogat to find the source of the liquor they had consumed. A woman has been arrested from Dhansoli for being allegedly selling illicit liquor.
Sonepat’s toll rises to 34
With seven more people dying after allegedly consuming spurious liquor in Sonepat, the death toll in the tragedy that has been unfolding for the last four days rose to 34, officials said on Thursday.
Two fatalities were reported from Sonepat city and five from Gumar village in Ganaur area of the district.
Deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Virender Singh said seven people had died in the past 24 hours in Sonepat city and Gumar village.
“The incident came to light on Wednesday after families of 14 people cremated the victims without informing the police on Monday and Tuesday. We learnt about the incident through media reports claiming that 14 people had suddenly died,” he added.
A senior police official, seeking anonymity, said the viscera report of five deceased confirmed that they had died due to consuming spurious liquor. Meanwhile, the Haryana police arrested seven persons, including a woman and conducted raids at two factories, where spurious liquor was prepared.
DSP Singh said they had arrested a man, identified as Vijay Kumar from Naina Tatarpur village, who was involved in making spurious liquor.
“We have seized two drums of spurious liquor, 254 bottles of Santra liquor and other equipment from a building where the accused was staying. We have arrested another man, Ankit Kumar, who was involved in the similar business from Kharkhauda in the district. We recovered 15 bottles of illegal liquor and ₹14.51 lakh from Raju of Sonepat,” the DSP added.
Two cops suspended
After 34 people died allegedly after consuming liquor, Sonepat superintendent of police Jashandeep Randhawa swung into action and suspended two cops- Mohana police station in-charge Sri Bhagwan and another cop, who was in-charge of a police check post.
“ Rohtak range inspector general of police (IG) Sandeep Khirwar constituted a team led by DSP (headquarters) Virender Singh to conduct a probe into the tragedy,” the SP added.
The deceased, mostly labourers and lower middle class workers, were living in Mayur Vihar, Shastri Colony, Pragati Colony and Indian Colony—of Sonepat city.
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