The death toll in the Gujarat hooch tragedy has risen to 38, as more people died after drinking illicit liquor in Botad district. Around 70 others are still hospitalised, with several in severe condition.
Police launched an investigation and three FIRs have been registered against 14 main culprits under sections 302 (murder), 328 (causing hurt by poison) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC, said Bhatia, adding six persons have been arrested by police so far.
According to police officials, small-time bootleggers in Botad made hooch by mixing methyl alcohol with water, then sold it to the locals in potlis for 40 bucks each. An officer said, “Such potlis are sold for anywhere between Rs 25 to Rs 50. These potlis were sold at Rs 40 each. Potlis are basically small plastic packets, like the ones sold during Holi. Many of these people died after consuming a single potli.”
“Some of the hospitalised persons who were in critical condition passed away overnight,” police official Ashok Kumar Yadav told Reuters.
“They had consumed methyl alcohol which was almost undiluted, believing it to be liquor.”
Meanwhile, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday met the victims and their families.
“A very sad incident came to my knowledge that more than 25 people have died in Bhavnagar after drinking spurious liquor and several others are admitted to the hospitals. I wish them a speedy recovery,” said Delhi CM Kejriwal.
Delhi CM Kejriwal further questioned the Gujarat government that if the state is a dry state then how is alcohol being sold openly in the state and who is benefitting from this?
“Why is the state government not looking after this or is there any internal conspiracy behind it?” he said.
He further claimed, that there is a business of thousands of crores of liquor in Gujarat.
After meeting victims and their families, Kejriwal alleged that “This is not the first time people of Gujarat have died due to spurious liquor”.
“People’s lives are at stake,” said Delhi CM.