Thirteen die in hooch tragedy in Kolkata, Mamata for judicial probe (Second Lead)

January 4th, 2009 - 10:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Jan 4 (IANS) At least 13 people died and 25 fell sick after consuming poisonous country-made liquor here, the police said Sunday and West Bengal’s main opposition Trinamool Congress promptly demanded a judicial inquiry into the tragedy.”Three persons died late Saturday night. Ten more have died till Sunday evening after consuming poisonous country-made liquor at West Port area near Khidderpore in south-west Kolkata. At least 25 people have been admitted to three city hospitals in critical condition,” Deputy Commissioner (detective department) Jawed Shamim told reporters.

Four people have been arrested and raids were on in several parts of the city to nab the culprits, Shamim said.

According to police sources, there are over 20 illegal country liquor shops in the area.

“We have raided the shops and collected liquor samples to detect the exact nature of poison in them. All bodies will be sent for post-mortem examination. An investigation has started and right action will be taken against the culprits,” Shamim said.

Earlier, Special Additional Police Commissioner (armed police) Debasis Roy said seven people, including three women, were detained for selling poisonous country-made liquor.

According to police sources, many slum dwellers in the area are addicted to drinking and they get the liquor from the local shops.

But the men who bought and consumed the country-made liquor Saturday night fell sick immediately. While some died after acute stomach ache and blood vomit, many were admitted to hospitals in critical condition.

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee visited the area in the evening to console the family members of the deceased and the sick.

Later, she demanded a thorough judicial probe into the incident by appointing a sitting judge of the Calcutta High Court.

Banerjee threatened to lay siege at the West Port police station Tuesday if the culprits were not brought to book.

She also announced compensation of Rs.10,000 to each family of the deceased from the local Kolkata Municipal Corporation borough controlled by the Trinamool.

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