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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Aligarh hooch tragedy: Congress slams BJP govt in UP, demands excise minister’s resignation

"The BJP should tell how spurious liquor is being sold in the state. Why is it so that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has not summoned the excise minister?" UP Congress spokesperson Ashok Singh said.

By: PTI | Lucknow |
Updated: June 6, 2021 4:35:48 pm
Family members mourn after more people died after allegedly consuming spurious liquor sold by a licensed vendor in Aligarh district, Saturday. (PTI)

Hitting out at the Uttar Pradesh government over the hooch tragedies in Aligarh, which have claimed at least 45 lives, the Congress on Sunday demanded the state’s Excise Minister Shriram Naresh Agnihotri’s resignation on moral grounds.

UP Congress spokesperson Ashok Singh, in a statement, alleged that the liquor mafias are enjoying government patronage which is why they are operating in the state “fearlessly”. “The BJP should tell how spurious liquor is being sold in the state. Why is it so that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has not summoned the excise minister?” he asked.

Later, in a tweet in Hindi, he said, “News of deaths in the Aligarh hooch tragedies are continuously emerging. Till now, more than 100 people have died. Yogijee, your (excise) minister Shriram Naresh Agnihotri should have tendered his resignation on moral grounds.”

The key accused in the last month’s Aligarh hooch incident, which has claimed at least 35 lives so far, was nabbed in the early hours of Sunday, police said.

Accused Rishi Sharma, who carried a reward of Rs 1 lakh on his arrest, was held near Bulandshahr border in western Uttar Pradesh, Aligarh Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Kalanidhi Naithani said.

Sharma, whom the police described as the kingpin of the liquor mafia, was named in 13 different cases connected to the recent liquor tragedy and was nabbed this morning on the Aligarh-Bulandshshar border as he was about to slip out of the district after being holed up in his hideouts since the past nine days.

Officials on Friday said that nine people died after consuming spurious liquor found dumped in a canal near Rohera village in Jawan area. Another man died on Friday in Aligarh’s Kodiyagunj village and officials link it with the same stock of liquor found in the canal near Rohera village on June 2 by some brick kiln workers.

The 10 fatalities are apart from people killed in the first tragedy which broke out on May 28, in which 35 people are confirmed to have died of liquor poisoning.

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