Representative Image. Photograph:( AFP )
At least 10 people lost their lives while 16 were taken seriously ill after allegedly consuming spurious liquor in Kanpur and its neighbouring Kapur Dehat, officials said on Sunday.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has announced financial assistance of Rs 2 lakh to the next of kin of each of the deceased, an official statement said.
In Kanpur district, four people died in the hooch tragedy yesterday. This morning, another person died at Lala Lajpat Rai (LLR) Hospital taking the toll to five, news agency PTI reported.
The deceased have been identified as Rajendra Kumar (48), Ratnesh Shukla (51), retired sub-inspector Jagjeevan Ram (62), Umesh (30) and Bhola Yadav (30).
In the neighbouring Kanpur Dehat district, five people died in Matauli, Maghaipurwa and Bhanwarpur villages after allegedly consuming spurious liquor, while seven are undergoing treatment at different hospitals.
Superintendent of Police (SP) Ratan Kant Pandey, said the deceased are Shyamu (40), Chunna Kushwaha (28), Hari Mishra (50) and Nagendra Singh (40), and Pankaj Gautam (40).
The seriously ill have been admitted to LLR Hospital and Ursula Horsman Memorial (UHM) Hospital in Kanpur, and the district hospital in Kanpur Dehat, the report added.
According to the relatives of the victims, all of them had consumed liquor bought from a government liquor shop.
An FIR under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Excise Act was lodged against Shyam Balak, the license holder of the liquor shop, Kanpur's Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Akhilesh Kumar said.
According to police officials, four people were detained and one has been arrested in connection with the case even as Balak, the main accused, is still on the run.
Police teams have been constituted to nab the culprits.
Irate residents of Maghaipurwa and Bhanwarpur villages in Kanpur Dehat blocked the road by placing the bodies on the road demanding speedy arrest of the accused and adequate ex gratia be provided to the kin of the deceased.
The bodies were sent for post-mortem after District Magistrate Rakesh Singh along with the district police chief reached the spot and assured the protesters of quick action in the case.
While Singh has ordered a magisterial probe into the deaths in Kanpur Dehat, the Kanpur SSP said that administrative officials and the Excise Department are investigating the matter.
On Saturday night, a massive operation against hooch manufacturers, traders and suppliers was carried out by the police in the suburban pockets, the SSP said.
The regional excise inspector has already been suspended, while samples of the liquor in question have been sent for testing.