While 11 people belonging to adjoining villages in Barabanki district died under mysterious circumstances on Wednesday, the district administration on Thursday said only three of the deaths were caused by consumption of liquor.
An FIR was lodged against two people on Thursday. One of them, who allegedly owned a liquor shop, has been arrested. The second accused, who allegedly bought the liquor, is absconding.
An autopsy conducted on nine of the bodies, however, did not confirm cause of death and viscera were preserved for further examination. Family members of two of the deceased refused autopsy. All victims were aged between 22-60 years.
Principal Secretary (Home) Arvind Kumar said that according to a joint preliminary report submitted by the district magistrate and superintendent of police of Barabanki, three people had consumed liquor at a relative’s place, while the eight others had died of natural causes. “District magistrate had yesterday (Wednesday) ordered a magisterial inquiry into the deaths. We will see what other facts come out in the inquiry,” added Kumar.
“Three more people who consumed spirit are undergoing treatment at a hospital in Lucknow. Their condition is said to be stable,” said District Magistrate (DM), Barabanki, Akhilesh Tiwari.
According to PTI, the DM said that one person had died due to heart attack, two people had died after they were taken ill due to the cold and five others had died due to different diseases.
While 9 of the deceased belonged to different villages in Dewa police station area, two were from a village in Ram Nagar police station area, said Station House Officer of Dewa police station Narendra Singh.
Additional District Magistrate, Barabanki, Anil Kumar Singh said, “After coming to know about the 11 deaths on Wednesday, a team of district administration and police rushed to the concerned villages and recorded statements of their families.”
“No family member of 9 of the deceased informed that they had consumed liquor before their condition deteriorated. However, the families of the remaining two — Avaneesh Baldhari (29) and Kashi Ram (28) — said they had consumed spirit two days ago. We suspect one Ram Suresh (47), also among the deceased, had also consumed spirit,” he added.
Superintendent of Police (SP), Barabanki, Anil Kumar Singh said, “During primary investigation, it came to light that Avaneesh Baldhari and Kashi Ram had gone to their relative Ram Naresh’s house in Salarpur village, where the three and a few others had consumed spirit on Monday evening. “On returning home, the condition of Avaneesh and Kashi Ram deteriorated and both were rushed to the hospital, where they died during treatment on Wednesday.”
He further said that during the inquiry, it was found that Ram Naresh had purchased spirit from one Madan Lal’s shop.
An FIR was lodged at Dewa police station against Madan Lal, who owns a licensed liquor shop, as as well as against on Ram Naresh on charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder and sale of noxious food or drink.
“Madan Lal has been arrested. He has been held for not confirming with Ram Naresh the purpose for which he was purchasing spirit,” the SP added. Police are conducting raids to trace Ram Naresh.
The state government has announced Rs 2 lakh financial aid for the families of all 11 deceased, said the SP.