More ‘victims’ turn up to claim compensation, authorities wary

The state government recently announced compensation of Rs 1 lakh for the families of hooch tragedy victims.

Written by Tabassum Barnagarwala | Mumbai | Published: June 23, 2015 1:19 am

On Monday, a man from Dahisar visited the Kandivali Shatabdi hospital complaining of vomiting and burning sensation, claiming he had consumed spurious liquor. Later, Mumbai police officials said he had never purchased liquor from the Malwani-based illegal liquor den which led to the death of 102 people.

Civic-run hospitals are increasingly wary of new admissions, saying the high compensation has driven several people to hospitals to claim the money.

Sitaram Fand, Assistant Police Inspector with Malwani police, said, “We are checking each claim on case-by-case basis. To ascertain whether the claim is genuine, we will be referring to medical records from hospitals.”

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The state government recently announced compensation of Rs 1 lakh for the families of hooch tragedy victims.

Several doctors said they do not expect more cases from Monday, as the symptoms can take up to three days to surface.

“Since they (locals) consumed liquor on Thursday, chances of any new hospital admission at this point are slim,” said Dr Jagdish Gotur, Consultant Physician with Shatabdi Hospital. According to an administrative official from the hospital, however, fresh admissions continued even on Monday.

“The panic is spreading like wild fire. Everyone wants to double check if they also consumed poisonous liquor,” said Dr K Pimpre, Medical Superintendent at Shatabdi hospital. Similar observations have been made at other civic hospitals such as KEM, Sion and Nair where patients are being transferred for ventilator support.

An administrative official said, “We cannot confirm whether they bought spurious liquor from Malwani. We can only make medical observations. The police will have to investigate,” said an administrative officer.

“We are maintaining a list of all those who have died at hospitals and the list is at every police station. We will forward it to the collector’s office and the matter will be followed as per procedure,” said Vikram Deshmane, deputy commissioner of police (zone XI).

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