Updated: August 27, 2021 5:16:51 am
“One of his daughters is deaf, mute and he was a pillar of support for her. He had been providing help to the family of a widow who had no earning member. Everyone is inconsolable,” said Sunil, a relative of Ramveer (43), who was among 10 people who died due to alleged consumption of spurious liquor in Agra district earlier this week.
Like nine others, locals claim, Ramveer also complained of restlessness, blurry vision before his death during treatment in hospital. The victims worked as daily wage labourers, farmers and milk suppliers, and died within 24 hours of consuming the alleged spurious liquor.
Meanwhile, four excise officials and three SHOs were among at least seven who were suspended over the deaths in Agra on Thursday.
Villagers claimed the deaths were due to a local liquor brand that was sold by a few shops in the region and by individuals. Agra officials in their initial probe have found more than eight approved liquor shops belonging to family members of a suspect, who is currently on the run. Four of these have been sealed for now, said officials.
“We received information that 10 persons had died in a span of 2-3 days in various Agra villages. It was alleged by locals that the victims died due to liquor poisoning. So far only four deaths can be attributed to spurious liquor. Due to lack of sufficient medical samples of other deceased, there is merit in the allegations of locals that the deaths occurred due to illicit alcohol. Our investigation is presently in the preliminary stage,” said Rajiv Krishna, ADG Zone Agra.
Ramveer’s family also alleged that his cremation was carried out hurriedly by police officials at 2 am. “Only one family has alleged that such a thing happened. We will look into the allegations,” said Krishna.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath took cognisance of the deaths and has sought a response from the officials. He also directed the excise department to carry out raids in places where the alleged illicit liquor was being sold.
“We have identified one person who owned several liquor shops in the area. The stores had been registered under the names of his family members. Once the person is caught, we will be able to identify the source of this liquor. Presently we have not found evidence of a ‘bhatti’ in the region where such liquor would be made. We are gathering all relevant details in connection with the sale and the subsequent deaths,” said Agra DM PN Singh.
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