Lucknow: Liquor is flowing in Uttar Pradesh on the eve of three-tier Panchayat polls, scheduled to begin in April, resulting in hooch tragedies in different parts of the state. After Fatehpur and Prayagraj, four more persons were killed in another hooch tragedy in Chitrakoot district of Uttar Pradesh on Sunday.
According to reports, four persons were killed in Khopa village under Rajapur Police Station in Chitrakoot district after consuming spurious liquor. Condition of another two, who were rushed to Prayagraj, was stated to be critical.
Taking serious note of yet another hooch tragedy in the state, the state government has suspended a Station House Officer and two police Constables for dereliction of duties and ordered a probe.
Those who died have been identified as Munna Singh, Sitaram Singh Baghel, Anmol Singh and Dadu Singh while Chottan and Satyam Singh are battling for life in the hospital. Senior police and district officials have rushed to the village to supervise relief work and probe the incident.
Initial probe revealed that about a dozen people assembled at the residence of a panchayat candidate who offered them liquor which turned out to be poisonous. After consuming liquor, many among them complained of chest pain, breathing trouble and eye burn late Saturday night.
Two of them died even before they could be admitted in the hospital while others succumbed during treatment. When the condition of the other two deteriorated further, they were rushed to district hospital in Prayagraj.
Villagers alleged that they died due to consumption of spurious liquor. The police said that they have detained a few villagers to find out the shop from where the country-made liquor was bought.
The Superintendent of Police Ankit Mittal has suspended SHO, Halka Police Post, Prajesh Pandey and two Constables. “We are awaiting a post mortem report to confirm the cause of four deaths and initiate action,” said the SP.
“A probe has been ordered and guilty will not be spared,” said District Magistrate Chitrakoot S.K. Shula, hinting that axe is likely to fall on excise officials. The DM ordered for conducting raids at the premises of illicit liquor manufacturers to destroy their produce.
As many as 24 persons died in the past one week in Uttar Pradesh in hooch tragedies reported from different parts of the state. About 13 persons were reported killed in Prayagraj alone and four in Fatehpur in the last few days.