In yet another instance of death from consumption of illicit liquor,two persons died after consuming spurious liquor in the Patol village of South 24 Parganas on Friday. Two others have been admitted to the hospital in a critical condition.
According to the police,the victims had consumed liquor on Thursday night and the effects began showing by early Friday morning.
They began complaining of severe abdominal pain in the night and were rushed to the nearby Diamond Harbour Hospital. Two of them died, said a senior police officer.
The deceased were identified as Kalidas Chattopadhyay (50) and Rabiram Mondal (45). While Chattopadhyay died on Thursday night,Mondal passed away on Friday morning.
Two others,whose identities are being ascertained,were said to be in a critical condition at the Calcutta National Medical College (CNMC) in Kolkata. Initially they were admitted to the Diamond Harbour hospital,but were later shifted to CNMC, said an officer.
During the last month,over 30 people have died after consuming spurious liquor in the Kidderpore dock area and in North 24 Parganas. The deaths had led to protests by the Trinamool Congress and police action was initiated against suppliers and sellers of hooch.
Last week,the state government had said it was mulling cutting taxes on government-approved country liquor to make it more affordable.
At present,while a 600 ml bottle of illicit liquor costs Rs 15,licensed country liquor costs Rs 43 per bottle. Of this,Rs 18.43 is excise duty and Rs 5.97 goes towards sales tax in Kolkata.
Combined taxes are slightly lower in the districts at about Rs 20 per bottle of country liquor.
A study conducted by the government recently has estimated that consumption of hooch in the state is at least one-and-half times that of authorised country liquor.