Death toll climbs to 97 in Mumbai hooch tragedy, 2 women arrested

This is the worst hooch tragedy in the city since December 2005 when 87 people lost their lives due to consumption of spurious liquor in suburban Vikhroli.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai | Updated: June 22, 2015 1:22 am
One of the victims being transferred to Nair Hospital. (Source: Express Photo by Dilip Kagda)

The death toll in the Malwani hooch tragedy reached 97 Sunday, with 46 persons still under treatment at various hospital in Mumbai. Meanwhile, the Mumbai Police Crime Branch Sunday arrested two more persons in the case, taking the total number of arrests to seven, and seized more than 1,000 litres of spurious liquor from the house of one of the five accused arrested earlier.

According to Crime Branch officers, the two arrested Sunday are Mamta Rathod (30) and Agnes Gracy (50), both residents of Malwani, who were running liquor dens in shanties in the slum. They were picked up from Malad Sunday afternoon, and were placed under arrest in the evening after questioning.

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“Both the accused used to buy the spurious liquor from Francis D’Mello, one of the five accused arrested earlier, and would then sell it. We are now interrogating D’Mello about the source and supply routes of the liquor,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Detection) Dhananjay Kulkarni.

A Crime Branch officer added, “On Sunday, we searched D’Mello’s residence and found around 1,100 litres of spurious liquor in several barrels. The sheer quantity of the liquor suggests a large-scale and highly organised racket, and we are probing further.”

“The hooch was brought through the sea route by the main accused, identified as Raju. We suspect it was brewed either near the creeks of Bhayander or on the Madh or Gorai islands in Mumbai,” said a senior officer.

Police officers said no new patient was admitted to hospitals after Saturday afternoon, and some of the patients showing mild symptoms of chemical poisoning, had been discharged.

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