Diamond Harbour (West Bengal): A glass of liquor for just Rs.10! The allure of extremely cheap country liquor after a hard day`s toil was too much to resist, and hundreds consumed the spurious moonshine in a West Bengal village, leading to nearly 150 deaths.
Sangrampur, a sleepy village in North 24 Parganas` Diamond Harbour, has since Wednesday witnessed at least 143 deaths in a hooch tragedy. The flourishing spurious liquor business was transacted mostly inside shanties.
While the wholesale rate of the drink is Rs.10 a litre, the retailers who procure it in jars of 35 litres each, sell the spirit to the consumers at Rs.10 a glass or in small plastic pouches for Rs.20. The liqor was allegedly mixed with a chemical that turned poisonous, leading to the deaths.
Heaps of the pouches, plastic glasses and jars were scattered in over a dozen shanties where the worst hooch tragedy in West Bengal took place. The victims were labourers, hawkers and rickshaw pullers belonging to the lower strata of society.
Scores of people are battling for their lives in various hospitals, and the toll is likely to go up.