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4 more perish in Raj hooch tragedy, death toll climbs 18

Last Updated: Saturday, January 22, 2011 - 22:37

Jaipur: Hooch tragedy in Rajasthan
claimed four more lives on Saturday, raising the toll to 18, while
around 50 people are undergoing treatment in Jodhpur and Pali
districts, officials said.

Three persons undergoing treatment at a hospital in
Pali succumbed to illness caused by spurious liquor and raised
the number of deaths in the tragedy to eight in the district.
In Jodhpur, the toll climbed to 10 after death of a
man.

There are also unconfirmed reports of nine more
deaths which could further shoot up the toll in the
four-day-old tragedy.

"Total 10 people have died so far and out of them,
eight died due to the spurious liquor. Doctors have not
confirmed that hooch was the reason behind the death of Chagan
and Sushila and we are waiting for the report," Pali district
Collector Neeraj K Pawan said.

In Pali, the incident occurred yesterday when five
persons died after consuming spurious liquor, allegedly
supplied by the same seller whose hooch already claimed 10
lives in Jodhpur.

After the tragedy struck Rajasthan, police and excise
departments have cracked down on illegal liquor business and
arrested three persons in Pali.
"Police and excise teams raided illegal breweries at
Sansi colony and several destroyed barrels of spirits. Three
persons were also arrested in this connection," Pawan said.

Pali SP Ajaypal Lamba said: "Four persons were
arrested yesterday and we have also detained eight more today,
who are being interrogated."

According to Jodhpur range office, 125 cases have been
registered and 113 persons have been arrested so far.

"Under the pro-active policing, we are now planning to
take stern and planned action against those who are involved
in illegal liquor and hooch business in the range to ensure
non-occurrence of any tragedy like Pali and Jodhpur here,"
Range IG Rajiv Dasot said.

In this exercise, at least 350 litres of spirit have
been seized while, 10,000 barrels have been destroyed,
officials said.

Meanwhile, Rajasthan Excise Minister Rajendra Pareek
visited the hospital in Pali where affected people are
undergoing treatment and asked police officials to take swift
and stern action against those who are responsible for the
tragedy.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, January 22, 2011 - 22:37

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