Updated: May 29, 2019 10:34:41 pm
The toll in the Barabanki hooch tragedy in Uttar Pradesh rose to 17 Wednesday, even as the main accused who ran the licensed liquor shop was arrested, officials said.
The incident had prompted Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to order a high-level probe into all the angles, including the possibility of a “political conspiracy”.
In a statement issued here, the Barabanki police said, “So far 17 persons have died in the hooch tragedy.”
“On the very night of the tragedy (Monday), two persons died in Barabanki. Their bodies were cremated without conducting a postmortem. The family members claimed the victims died after consuming the spurious liquor. However, the exact cause of their death can be established after further examination,” they said.
KGMU trauma centre in-charge Sandeep Tiwari told PTI in Lucknow, “In all 47 patients were brought to the trauma centre. Ten of them have been admitted in the ICU and their condition is serious.”
Authorities did not rule out the possibility of the toll rising further.
Meanwhile, Pappu Jaiswal, the main accused in the case was arrested near Bhind Amrai village Wednesday morning, police said.
Superintendent of Police Ajay Sahini said Jaiswal was held following an encounter.
The other accused Danvir Singh along with excise inspector of Ramnagar Tehsil, Ramteerth Maurya has also been arrested. Attempts are being made to arrest another accused Manish Singh, police said.
Jaiswal received injuries in his leg during the encounter and has been referred to the Lucknow Trauma Centre, the SP said.
Both Pappu Jaiswal and Danvir Singh were carrying a reward of Rs 20,000 each on their heads. Three others working in the shop which sold the liquor were arrested on Tuesday night, the SP said.
During raids at the shop’s godown, illicit liquor was seized. The police said while the shop was allotted to Danvir Singh, Jaiswal was running it for him.
Locals belonging to Raniganj and adjoining villages consumed the liquor purchased from a licensed shop in Ramnagar area on Monday night and were rushed to the Ramnagar Community Health Centre (CHC).
A magisterial inquiry has also been ordered into the incident following which 10 excise and two police officials were suspended on charges of dereliction of duty.
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