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Rediff.com  » News » Gujarat hooch tragedy toll rises to 73

Gujarat hooch tragedy toll rises to 73

Last updated on: July 09, 2009 14:12 IST

The death toll in the hooch tragedy in Gujarat rose to 73 as 25 people died on Thursday during treatment in various hospitals of Ahmedabad, police said.

Till late Wednesday night the death toll was 48.

"Seventy-three people have died till now due to the consumption of spurious liquor," a senior police officer told PTI, adding that over hundred people are under treatment in various city hospitals.

People from different parts of the city like Odhav, Amraiwadi, Raipur, Rakhial and other areas continue to be admitted in hospitals.

Residents and shopkeepers from the affected areas took to the streets, shouting anti-government slogans and demanded stern action against the bootleggers.

Angry crowd was also seen pelting stones at police, deployed to control the situation.

"The situation in Odhav is under control now. Eleven people have been rounded up in this connection. One assistant sub-inspector received minor injuries after being hit by a stone," Joint Commissioner of Police G K Parmar said.

Meanwhile, the police department have cracked down on illicit liquor dens across the state. 

The city crime branch investigating the case has arrested one bootlegger Harishankar Kahar who allegedly supplied spurious liquor in the Majoor Gam and Odhav areas of the city where most of the deaths have occurred, they said, adding that he was being interrogated.

Harishankar has been booked under PASA (Prevention of anti-Social activities Act) and 15 cases under Prohibition Act have also been registered against him. Over 100 bootleggers have been detained in Ahmedabad and the crime branch has raided their illegal liquor dens, police said.

In Navsari district, 23 bootleggers have been detained for interrogation while 13 liquor dens have been sealed, police said, adding, raids were on in other parts of the district.

Besides, nearly 200 bootleggers have been rounded up in Bharuch district and their liquor dens closed, they said. Six police officials including two Deputy SP rank officers have been suspended and transferred following the hooch tragedy.

The state government has also announced formation of a four-member Commission of Inquiry headed by Retd Justice Kamal Mehta to probe the incident.

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