DSPs suspended, SIT formed as toll crosses 100
› I am extremely distressed to hear about such a tragic incident and express my deepest condolences to the family members of the deceased persons.
PRIYANKA GANDHI VADRA , Congress leader
› The tragedy is not only unfortunate but also heart-rending and shameful... These incidents are the result of callous and unconcerned BJP governments.
MAYAWATI, BSP chief and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister
MEERUT/HARIDWAR: The Uttar Pradesh government on Sunday constituted a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the hooch deaths that shocked the state and took action against two police officers on charges of dereliction of duty.
The probe team has been directed to submit its report within 10 days to the state government even as Ram Krishan Tiwari, the deputy superintendent of police (DSP) in Kushinagar district’s Tamkuhriaj, and Siddharth Deputy, the superintendent of police in Saharanpur’s Deoband, were suspended.
Tiwari and Siddharth are accused of failing to take effective measures to check the manufacture and sale of the illicit liquor. The Uttar Pradesh government has also ordered a magisterial inquiry into the tragedy.
The death toll in the twin hooch tragedies in Uttar Pradesh and neighbouring Uttarakhand has risen to 108, with dozens of people still recuperating in various hospitals, officials said on Sunday.
A total of 73 deaths have been reported in Uttar Pradesh — 62 in Saharanpur and Meerut districts, and 11 in Kushinagar. As many as 35 deaths have been reported in Uttarakhand’s Haridwar, according to excise department officials.
The victims in Uttar Pradesh visited Balupur in Uttarakhand’s Roorkie on February 7 for a funeral after which they consumed the illicit liquor, police officials said.
A total of 215 persons have been arrested, and cases have been filed against 297 people. Forty-nine cases have been registered in Uttarakhand. In a crackdown, the police have seized 9,269 litres of hooch in UP, while 1,066 litres have been recovered in Uttarakhand.
Over 200 people, including the father-son duo who had sup- plied the tainted drink, were held during a joint operation by the Haridwar and Saharanpur police.
On Sunday, angry family members of the victims came out on the streets and blocked roads in protest, alleging negligence by officials in providing medical treatment to those who have taken ill.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra demanded that the BJP governments in the two states should ensure strict punishment to those responsible for the tragedy and provide proper compensation to the families of the deceased.
Priyanka Gandhi, who took charge as the AICC general secretary incharge of eastern Uttar Pradesh last week, said it was unimaginable that the business of illegal liquor was being run on such a large scale.
“I am extremely distressed to hear about such a tragic incident and express my deepest condolences to the family members of the deceased persons,” she said in a statement.
Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati came down heavily on the government. “The tragedy is not only unfortunate but also heart-rending and shameful,” she tweeted.
■ People who drank the spurious liquor undergo treatment.