Hoch Toll 101, organized more than 3,000: Alcohol, sold in weddings

In the last four days, officials say that illegal liquor has killed at least 99 people 60 in Saharanpur, 11 in Kushinagar and 29 in Haridwar, the source of toxic liquor, police said.


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Reena, wife of Rakesh, one of the hook victims in Saharanpur, on Sunday.At weddings, prayer meetings, and several mass meetings, white plastic bags of national liquor were sold in villages across Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh along the Uttarakhand border. Produced with cheap ingredients and sold for between Rs 10 and Rs 30, liquor, locals say, is a common sight in the region.

However, the deaths are a first. In the last four days, officials say that illegal liquor has killed at least 99 people 61 in Saharanpur, 11 in Kushinagar and 30 in Haridwar, the source of toxic liquor, police said.

In a two-day drive to fake liquor trade, a prime minister said in a statement that 3,049 people have been arrested and over 79,000 liters of national drink liquor seized across the state. According to the spokesman, 2812 FIRs have been filed, and most arrests, around 2,700, were made in the Agrason. The government also constituted a special team and investigation force to investigate the deaths and submit a report in 10 days.

Dharam Singh (36) said illegal liquor killed his brother Gulab and sent four other relatives to hospital. "There are 4-5 people in our village selling this liquor. It's an open secret. One of them sold it to our family members on Thursday. We rushed them to the hospital, but my youngest brother couldn't. Four others receive treatment, "he said.

Other than killing at least 99 people, the liquor has left hundreds of others in hospital. (Express photo of Gajendra Yadav)
Despite the arrest, the police are not yet decisive how poisonous spirits were made. The inhabitants of Kolkakali, one of the worst affected villages, are talking about mass production in wooded areas on the border.

Other than killing at least 99 people, the liquor has left hundreds of others in hospital. Like Tinku Verma (28), who was rushed to Saharanpur Bajoria Government Hospital Sunday morning from Pundain village.

With the honeymoon in height, he drank the liquid from the white bag to a function near the village. "He has been writhing in pain since morning. He drank liquor in the first place. Initially, he complained about some turmoil, but his dizziness has increased and he has kept his stomach.

In the emergency department, Tinku is one of dozens with similar symptoms. According to hospital staff, since Friday morning, ambulances have flowed in and out throughout the day with moving patients who anxious families sit outside including Umahi, Kolkakali and Salempur villages.

Health workers are not yet shedding light on the content of the poisoning ingredient allegedly used in liquor. "We have sent more than 30 viscera samples for testing to Lucknow, and results are expected. The alleged liquor could have used methyl alcohol instead of ethyl alcohol since it is cheaper and a large amount of toxic substance could have been added," says Dr. SK Varshney, Chief Medical Superintendent of Saharanpur Medical Government College.

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