Death toll in UP, Uttarakhand reaches 108
MEERUT : The death toll in the hooch tragedy in Uttar Pradesh and neighbouring Uttarakhand has increased to 108, and over 200 people have been arrested in a police crackdown, officials said on Sunday.
A total of 73 deaths was reported in Uttar Pradesh -- 62 in Saharanpur and Meerut districts and 11 in Kushinagar. An official informed that two dozen villagers were still undergoing treatment in hospitals of Meerut and Saharanpur.
The number of deaths in tragedy-affected areas of Jhabreda, Bhagwanpur and Roorkee in Haridwar district reached 35 on Sunday , with 48 people still recuperating in various hospitals of Uttarakhand, said senior police officials.
District magistrate, Saharanpur, Alok Kumar Pandey and SSP Dinesh Kumar told media persons on Saturday evening that out of the 56 post-mortem examinations conducted in Saharanpur, it had been confirmed that 36 deaths had occurred due to spurious liquor.
Viscera of remaining 20 victims has been collected for further test to confirm the cause of death.
Officials said that till Saturday night, 36 deaths had been reported in Saharanpur and 23 in Meerut Medical College. Apart from that three more deaths had been reported in villages Bahadre, Kolki and Humayun Kota, taking the overall toll to 62 in Meerut-Saharanpur area.
“Five villagers undergoing treatment at Meerut Medical College Hospital died on late Saturday night,” said the hospital’s medical officer (casualty) Dr Harshwardhan.
Superintendent of police (SP) Meerut Ranvijay Singh said that several people undergoing treatment at Meerut Medical College were in a serious condition.
Initially, the maximum number of deaths were reported from villages Umahi, Sarbatpur, Salempur and Mali, but over the past 48 hours, deaths have also been reported in another 15 villages of Nangal, Gagalheri and Deoband areas of Saharanpur district.
Meanwhile, angry family members of the victims and resi-
dents of village Kolki in Gagalheri came out on streets and blocked the road in protest, alleging negligence by officials in providing medical treatment to the sick.
Congress leader Imran Masood also accused the administration of adopting a negligent attitude towards the victims of the tragedy.
(WITH AGENCY INPUTS)
▪ Samajwadi Party MLA Rafeeq Ansari and party leader Arul Pradhan visited medical college hospital in Meerut and enquired about treatment and condition of hooch victims of Saharanpur.