The Odisha government on Tuesday assured a high level probe after seven people reportedly died and three were in critical condition after allegedly consuming spurious liquor in Bhadrak district on the day elections ended in the state.
Some of the people are being treated in Bhadrak, while the three critically ill were shifted to SCB Medical College in Cuttack.
Excise Secretary Nikunja Dhal said that a joint investigation will be conducted by the Assistant District Magistrate(ADM) or sub collector representing the Revenue Department, Assistant District Medical Officer from the Health department, as well as state police, as per the protocol for alleged spurious liquor deaths. “We will see whether the liquor was spurious or there is any other reason”, he said.
Some district officials are saying the cause of death could be the stale mutton curry consumed along with the liquor.
“We will be extra sensitive because the death occurred on the day of elections”, added Dhal. On Monday, Bhadrak Lok Sabha constituency and seven underlying Assembly segments voted in Odisha’s fourth and final phase of elections.
“We received reports that eight people have reached Bhadrak hospital for treatment after side effects of spurious liquor. They say they have had liquor in their villages, but have not bought it from any liquor shop. We will investigate whether the wine was spurious and how they obtained it”, said Bhadrak Collector Gyana Ranjan Das.
State Congress Chief Niranjan Patnaik, who contested from Bhandaripokhari Assembly constituency in Bhadrak, said, “Is this new? Many cases have happened in the last 18 years. They have given collectors the power to open as many liquor shops as they can. When Congress comes to power, we will control liquor sale”.