Chandigarh: The death toll in the hooch tragedy in Punjab rose to 86 on Saturday. Most of the casualties are from Tarn Taran, accounting for 63 deaths. This is followed by Amritsar Rural at 12 and Gurdaspur (Batala) at 11 deaths. These people died after consuming spurious liquor that appeared to have been distilled in Amritsar’s Muchhal village, officials said today. Further, 17 more people were arrested in connection with their alleged involvement in selling spurious liquor. Also Read - Remarkable Gesture: Punjab CM Gives Smartphones to Class 12 Students as Part of 'Smart Connect Scheme'
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh also announced Rs 2 lakh as compensation to each of the families of the deceased. Further, the Chief Minister ordered the suspension of and inquiry against 7 excise and taxation officers and inspectors, along with 2 DSPs & 4 SHOs of police in connection with the tragedy. Also Read - Captain vs Bajwa: Punjab CM Responds After MP's Letter to Police Chief Over Security Removal
Raids are still going on, police told news agency PTI. Five persons have been detained in Tarn Taran for questioning in this connection. Cops fear that the death toll could rise. Also Read - UGC Final Year Exams: 'Reconsider September Decision', Punjab CM Urges PM Modi During COVID-19 Meet
On Friday, eight bootleggers were arrested in over 40 raids conducted across the three districts. A large amount of spurious liquor, drums and storage cans were recovered from the accused and have been sent for chemical analysis.
The Punjab government has ordered a magisterial inquiry by Divisional Commissioner Jalandhar into the incident. Joint Excise and Taxation Commissioner Punjab and SPs (Investigation) of the districts concerned will also be a part of the team.
Opposition Shiromani Akali Dal has demanded a judicial probe into the incident, while the Aam Aadmi Party said CM Amarinder Singh should resign, over one of the biggest hooch tragedies in the state.