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Toll of Hooch tragedy in Gujarat rises to 16

Sixteen persons have died and 15 others were admitted to hospitals today after consuming illicit liquor in Majoor Gam area here, police said.

Ahmedabad, July 07: Sixteen persons have died and 15
others were admitted to hospitals today after consuming
illicit liquor in Majoor Gam area here, police said.

The incident sparked off protests in the area with women
taking to the streets, demanding government and police to
crack down on illegal liquor dens.

Police resorted to teargas shells and baton-charging to
control the agitators, officials said.

According to the police, some people had consumed
spurious liquor during a party in the area on Sunday night.
Some of them started vomiting and complained of stomachache in
the morning and were rushed to various hospitals in the city
where 16 of them have died while 15, some critical, were
undergoing treatment.

The list of those who died during treatment have been
issued by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation according to
which nine persons died at V S Hospital, three at L G Hospital
and four in Shardaben Hospital.

The deceased include Valji Valera (45), Jeshaji Marwadi
(65), Arvind Solanki (45), Harish Maru (39), Manilal Purabia
(48), Ranchod Rathod (50), Kanti Ayar (32), Soma Parmar (55),
Amarsinh Rajput (50), Pradeep Solanki (20), Bhavan Solanki
(50), Purshottam Revar (27), Natwar Parmar(47), Dinesh Thakore
(35), Bansilal Anilbhai (55), Akhu Narabhai (30).

A case has been registered and police has started
investigation.

"We have started raids to locate the illegal liquor dens
in the Majoor Gam area," DCP (Zone VI) Sachin Badshah said.

According to the sources, police had seized huge quantity
of raw material used in preparation of illicit liquor along
with containers and bottles.

No arrests have been made so far, however, many people
have been interrogated, they added.

The spurious liquor deaths also figured in the ongoing
session of the Gujarat Assembly.

Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee President and MLA
Siddarth Patel raised the issue in the House and demanded an
explanation from the government.

Minister of State for Home Amit Shah promised to give
a detailed statement tomorrow, saying the investigation into
the case was on.

Meanwhile, Leader of the Opposition Shaktishin Gohil
who visited the area to take stock of the situation told
reporters, "Women in the area said they have told police many
times to take action against illegal liquor dens there, but no
action was taken."

Following the death of 16 people due to consumption of
spurious liquor here, Police Commissioner (Surat) Shivanand
Jha ordered a crackdown on illegal liquor dens in Surat.

Senior police officials of Surat said that inspectors and
other officials have been directed to crack down on all
illegal liquor dens in their areas.

The orders are to ensure that a tragedy like Ahmedabad
is not repeated in Surat, they added.

Bureau Report

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