The police said they have arrested three employees of the shop — Shivam, Sunil Jaiswal and Pitamber — and have launched a hunt to nab its owner, Danveer Singh. Most of the victims are from Raniganj village where the shop is located under Ramnagar police station limits.
Those who sold the spurious liquor and those who bought it were ultimately from the same area, having grown up with each other, says Sultan Sardar, a resident of Laxmi Nagar chawl, which had recorded nearly 15 deaths.
Underlying the recent hooch tragedy that caused more than 150 deaths in two districts of Assam lie bleak lives led in hard work and poverty, with few escapes. The Indian Express tell their stories, and one tale that is just beginning — of the 41 left orphaned.
Police sources said that forensic scientists had verbally communicated that the contaminant was methanol. This raises the possibility that the liquor consumed was not the traditionally prepared molasses-based “sulai” but, as police say, “a mixture of spirit and water”.
In a crack-down on the suspected distribution network of spurious liquor across the two districts, Assam police arrested at least 44 persons. Names of the accused were primarily obtained from the dying declarations of the victims.
The toll in Assam’s hooch tragedy spread over Golaghat and Jorhat districts touched 144 Sunday night, said Addl DGP, Law and Order, Mukesh Agarwal. Over 200 people are still being treated at JMCH and Golaghat civil hospital.
India has been witness to many such hooch tragedies that have claimed the lives of hundreds. In fact before Assam, the last such incident had taken place just about two weeks ago in Uttarakhand which had led to the death of about 99 people.