156 persons die after drinking illicit gin, 200 hospitalised
The death toll due to consumption of illicit liquor in India’s northeastern state of Assam rose to 156, local government officials said on Sunday.
Over 200 victims, mostly the tea garden workers, are undergoing treatment in different hospitals.
The hooch was consumed by people on Thursday on Halmira tea estate in Golaghat and adjacent Jorhat district, east of Dispur, the capital city of Assam.
According to officials, so far 85 deaths have taken place in Golaghat, while as 71 have died in adjacent Jorhat district.
“In Golaghat, the death toll has risen to 85,’’ Deputy Commissioner Golaghat Dhiren Hazarika told Xinhua on telephone.
The Public Relations Officer at Jorhat Medical College Hospital, Dr Manab Narayan Baruah, told Xinhua the death toll in Jorhat due to consumption of hooch has risen to 71.
“Up to 1:00 p.m. today the death toll has gone up to 71 in Jorhat alone, many people are admitted here and undergoing treatment,’’ Baruah said.
According to officials, the death toll is likely to increase further.
According to a preliminary investigation, health officials said the cause of death seems to be drinking spurious country made liquor.
Police, besides making some arrests, have registered a case and collected samples of the liquor.
Earlier this month, about 100 people died in a similar hooch tragedy in India’s northern states of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.
Authorities, following the deaths, suspended several officials and have started a crackdown on illicit liquor manufacturing units and sales points.
In December 2011, a hooch tragedy killed 172 people in South 24-Parganas district of India’s eastern state of West Bengal.
Spurious alcohol deaths are often reported in India where people often drink cheap bootleg liquor. (Xinhua/NAN)