DSPS sus­pended, SIT formed as toll crosses 100

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - HTNATION - HT Cor­re­spon­dent

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.

PTI FILE

People who drank the spu­ri­ous liquor un­dergo treat­ment.

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