Roorkee (U’khand), Feb 10 (PTI) Two people were arrested Sunday in connection with the hooch tragedy that claimed over 70 lives in two adjoining districts in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh last week, police said.

So far 36 people have died in Uttarakhand and as many in Uttar Pradesh after consuming the spurious liquor in a Haridwar village on Thursday evening, police said.

According to police, arrested father-son duo, Fakira and Sonu, told investigators that they had procured the spurious liquor from Uttar Pradesh and sold it in Balupur and its neighbouring villages in Uttarakhand’s Haridwar district.

The two are residents of Balupur village, Haridwar SSP Janmejay Khanduri and Saharanpur SSP Dinesh Kumar, who held a joint press conference in Roorkee, told PTI.

The accused have told interrogators that the liquor they had bought did not have its usual colour and smelt of diesel, the Haridwar SSP said.

“It looked white like milk and smelt of diesel,” they said in their statement to the police.

The victims, hailing from Haridwar district in Uttarakhand and Saharanpur district in Uttar Pradesh, had consumed the liquor after the ‘tehravin’, the 13th day of mourning ritual, following a relative’s death.

Efforts are underway to nab the residents of Punden village of Saharanpur who manufactured the illicit liquor, he said.

He said raids have been conducted at their residence but they are on the run.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.