At least four persons have died and five have taken ill over the last couple of days due to consumption of illicit liquor in Ranchi, just over a month after the state-owned Jharkhand State Beverages Corporation Limited took over the wholesale liquor business in the state. Three other deaths, including those of two Jharkhand Armed Police constables, are also being investigated in this regard.
Police have registered at least six FIRs and arrested three persons, including a JAP constable, for allegedly selling spurious liquor at a shop behind the JAP-1 Headquarters in Doranda area of the state capital. DIG (Ranchi Range) R K Dhan said: “The stomach wash samples and other evidence have been collected and will be sent for forensic analysis. At least three persons have been arrested. A special team is investigating the case with help from the CID.”
Officers-in-charge of Namkum and Doranda police stations have been suspended. The four victims had consumed the liquor on the night of September 3.
The police are still probing if JAP-1 constable Yogesh Chhatri, JAP-8 constable Mahadev Murmu and one Irfan Gaddi died due to consumption of spurious liquor. “Chhatri’s friends have denied that he died due to alcohol consumption… Murmu had apparently come here (JAP-1) for training. In his case too, the initial indication is that he did not die of liquor consumption. But we are waiting for post-mortem report,” said a high ranking official.
The arrested persons are Indrabhan Thapa, Umesh Gurung and Constable Gautam Thapa. “Indrabhan ran the shop behind JAP-1 headquarters and the other two helped him,” said a police official. Meanwhile, the Jharkhand government has suspended Kotwali area excise sub-inspector Rana Moti Lal Singh for dereliction of duty.