Nine people have died over the past five days at a village in Palsana taluka of Surat district after they allegedly consumed “spurious liquor”. While all the deceased had a history of being addicted to liquor, police officials claimed that the death was caused due to consumption of “some chemical substance”.
The first of these deaths took place on September 5, while two persons — Sanjay Kushvana (32) and Guddu Prasad (35) — died Friday. All the deaths have been reported from Vareli village.
The other deceased have been identified as Pradip Kumar (28), Gangaram Mukhiya (31), Ramnarayan Yadav (35), Ramavtar Pyarelal (25), Sunil Chaudhary (50), Manoj Sahoo (25) and Anand Mahale (40).
The incident came to light after a medical officer of a private hospital informed local police and health department officials that two patients — Sunil Chaudhary and Anand Mahale — died “mysteriously” and alcohol was present in their blood.
Police took possession of their bodies and sent them to a government hospital where a panel of doctors carried out the post-mortem. The investigators also visited the village and found that a few others have died in the past few days following similar complications of vomiting and organ failure. Viscera of the deceased men have been collected and sent to a forensic laboratory for further analysis. A team of health department officials also visited the family members of those who died. The health department officials also carried out door-to-door survey, checked whether any person was suffering from fever, and distributed medicines.
They are also looking for those persons admitted to hospital following such complications. Police, meanwhile, have started carrying out raids on places considered to be liquor dens. “After speaking with medical officials, we have found that they had consumed some chemical substance which had led to vomiting, heart attacks, brain fever and other complications. We have taken strict steps and carried out raids at liquor dens in Vareli and neighbouring villages. We have also transferred police inspector of Kadodara H K Bharwad,” SP Mayur Chawda said. Vareli village falls under Kadodara police station area. Chief district health officer of Surat Dr Megha Mehta said, “The cause of death is still not known… They all were addicts and used to consume spurious liquor. We have found that before their death, they showed symptoms of vomiting and organ failures. We suspected outbreak of some virus, but nothing of that sort was found in our survey. We are waiting for the FSL report.”