4 arrested in hooch case, given 14 days remand



Canning/Diamond Harbour: Four persons, including the wife of the main accused Noor Islam Sheikh alias 'Khora' Badshah, were arrested today in connection with West Bengal's worst illicit liquor tragedy that claimed over 170 lives in South 24 Parganas district.

A senior police officer said a CID team arrested Noorjahan Bibi, 'first' wife of 'Khora' Badshah, besides his right hand man Bakkar alias Bakreswar and another accomplice Ghulam Rasool from a house at Canning's Kargil locality. Shambhu Patro, owner of the house and Bakkar's brother-in-law, was also arrested by the team from Kolkata during the raid in the small hours.

The SDJM, Diamond Harbour, later remanded the four to 14 days' police custody on charge of supplying the killer liquor. Sub-divisional Judicial Magistrate, Alokesh Das, ordered the remand after the CID sought their custody for interrogation.

At least 173 persons had died of the 369 admitted to three hospitals after consuming the hooch, allegedly supplied by the syndicate run by 'Badshah', at liquor dens near Sangrampur rail station area on December 13 night. Police earlier arrested two persons in connection with the incident.

The victims fell ill after consuming spurious liquor at several illegal joints near the station in Mograhat area and the death toll shot up in the next two-three days.

Preliminary investigations suggest that the deaths occurred due to methyl alcohol toxicity which led to respiratory and cardiac failure. The issue figured in the assembly with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee having announced a CID inquiry into the tragedy which took place less than a week after the major fire in AMRI hospital which left 93 dead.

PTI