Punjab Spurious Liquor Case: Death Toll Rises To 62; Two More Arrested

(The families of deceased grieving.)
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CHANDIGARH, AUGUST 1: The death toll in the toxic liquor case in Punjab rose to 62 on Saturday, and two more people were arrested in Amritsar for their alleged involvement in selling spurious liquor, said a police official.

“Two more people were arrested on Saturday morning in connection with the incident,” Inspector General of Police SPS Parmar told PTI over phone.

Five people had been detained in Tarn Taran for questioning, said the officer.

The deaths took place in Tarn Taran, Batala and Amritsar districts of the state since Wednesday.

Meanwhile, 62 people had so far died in the incident, said officials.

They said one more person died in Amritsar on Friday night.

19 people died in Tarn Taran, 11 in Amritsar and nine in Batala after consuming toxic liquor in Amritsar’s Muchhal village, officials said on Saturday.

However, officials fear that the death toll could rise.

On Friday, eight bootleggers were arrested in over 40 raids conducted across the three districts.

A large amount of spurious liquor, drums and storage cans were recovered from the accused and have been sent for chemical analysis.

According to officials, some of the families of the deceased refused to record their statements, whereas some held protests at Muchhal village, seeking compensation from the government.

Khadoor Sahib MP Jasbir Singh Dimpa announced Rs 1 lakh compensation each to the families of the deceased. The family members, however, demanded higher compensation.

On Friday, the Punjab government has ordered a magisterial inquiry by Divisional Commissioner Jalandhar into the incident. Joint Excise and Taxation Commissioner Punjab and SPs (Investigation) of the districts concerned will also be a part of the team.

While the Opposition Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has demanded a judicial probe into the incident, and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said CM Amarinder Singh should resign over one of the biggest hooch tragedies in the state.

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