Punjab, where a recent hooch tragedy claimed 123 lives, has the dubious distinction of reporting second highest number of deaths caused by the consumption of illicit and spurious liquor in 2019, as per an NCRB report.
As per the National Crime Records Bureau report on accidental deaths and suicides in India, a total of 1,141 incidents of consumption of illicit/spurious liquor caused 1,296 deaths in the country during 2019. Maximum such deaths were reported from Karnataka (268), followed by Punjab (191), Madhya Pradesh (190), Chhatisgarh and Jharkhand (115 each), Assam (98), and Rajasthan (88).
As per the report, Punjab is also placed at number seven in terms of drug overdose deaths in 2019. Maximum drug overdose deaths were reported from Tamil Nadu (108), followed by Karnataka (67), Uttar Pradesh (64), Rajasthan (60), Gujarat (49) and Andhra Pradesh (47). Punjab reported 45 drug overdose deaths in 2019.
Punjab is also among the top three states where road accidents have caused more fatalities than injuries to the victims. As per the report, 4,37,396 road accidents caused 1,54,732 deaths and injuries to 4,39,262 persons in the country during 2019. “Generally road accidents cause more injuries than deaths, but in Mizoram, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, such accidents have caused more deaths compared to persons injured,” says the report, pointing out that 57 road accidents in Mizoram caused 63 deaths and injuries to 25 persons, while 6,316 road accidents in Punjab caused 4,613 deaths and injuries to 3,726 persons, In UP, 37,537 road accidents caused 23,285 deaths and injuries to 22,251 persons.
Punjab is also among the top three States and UTs which have reported significant percentage increase in suicides in 2019 over 2018. As per the report, Bihar reported 44.7 percentage increase in deaths by suicides followed by Punjab (37.5%) and Daman & Diu (31.4%).
In 2018, there were 1,714 suicides in Punjab, which rose to 2357 in 2019.
Punjab was at number four in family suicides in 2019. “Maximum number of family suicides were reported from Tamil Nadu (16), Andhra Pradesh (14), Kerala (11), and Punjab (9),” as per the report.
There were 240 deaths in Punjab due to “forces of nature and 141 out of those (58.8%) were due to “exposure to cold”.
Punjab, as per the report, witnessed second highest number of deaths due to poverty (119) after Maharashtra (315).
In terms of rate of accidental deaths Punjab was placed at number 14 among the states and Union Territories recording a rate of 36.9 against national average of 31.5.