Shantipur (WB), Nov 30 (PTI) The West Bengal CID has arrested the prime accused in the Shantipur hooch tragedy that claimed 12 lives and left over 35 people sick, a senior official said Friday.

Ganesh Halder, the prime accused, was picked up and arrested late Thursday night by the state CID from Shantipur’s Chowdhurypara area in Nadia district and was the fifth person to be apprehended in the case, he said.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had Friday asked the police to take strict action against those running spurious liquor shops in the state.

“The police must see whether spurious liquor is brought to West Bengal from other states or not,” she had told a public rally at Kalna in Burdwan.

Nadia District Magistrate Sumit Gupta said those who fell ill after drinking the spurious liquor were kept under observation.

Twenty-four persons were still undergoing treatment at the Shantipur State General Hospital and doctors were keeping a close watch on them, he told PTI.

Ten persons, who were in a serious condition after consuming the spurious liquor, were shifted to a state-run hospital in Kolkata, Gupta said.

The secretary general of the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) and state minister Partha Chatterjee paid a visit to the families who had lost their kin in the tragedy as well as those who had fallen sick due to the consumption of the spurious liquor.

A delegation of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, including Kailash Vijayvargiya and Mukul Roy, had also visited Shantipur in connection with the tragedy.

The state government has announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each to the kin of the deceased.

Eleven excise officials have been suspended in connection with the incident that took place Wednesday at Nrishinghapur village in Nadia district.

Most of the victims were brick kiln labourers, the locals had said and alleged that the spurious liquor was brought from Kalna in Burdwan district, across the Hooghly river.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.