Illicit liquor tragedy toll crosses 160

May 21st, 2008 - 10:43 pm ICT by admin  

Bangalore/Hosur, May 21 (IANS) At least 160 people, around 90 of them in Bangalore and its neighbourhood, have died in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu after drinking spurious liquor Sunday, the police said Wednesday. In Krishnagiri district in Tamil Nadu, at least 45 people lost their lives while in Kolar district in Karnataka more than 30 died in the tragedy that began Sunday afternoon.

The Karnataka government has suspended nine excise and police officials as at least 10 more people died in hospitals in Bangalore, surrounding areas and Kolar district, 68 km from the state capital.

Karnataka Governor Rameshwar Thakur Wednesday visited one of the hospitals where the hooch-affected have been adfmitted, and enquired about facilities available for their treatment.

Authorities continued to carry out raids in several villages on the outskirts of Bangalore and destroyed a huge quantity of material stored to manufacture spurious liquor, police and excise officials said.

In Tuesday’s raids at several places across Karnataka, the police and excise officials destroyed nearly 20,000 sachets of illicit liquor, each containing about a quarter litre of country-made liquor, the police said in Bangalore.

The toll could go up as some of the 90 people being treated in Bangalore and Kolar hospitals are in a critical condition, they said.

In Bangalore’s Devara Jeevan Halli, a poor, thickly populated locality of daily wagers, 60 people were killed, in Bangalore rural district 30, in Kolar district 32 and in Krishnagiri 45 are dead, police said.

The Karnataka government has increased the compensation to the kin of the dead to Rs.50,000 from Rs.10,000 announced Monday.

The Bangalore police have arrested six people, but the suspected kingpin, identified as Soundara Rajan of Devera Jeevana Halli and the vendor who sold the brew in the area are absconding.

The tragedy started Sunday afternoon in Kolar and Krishnagiri districts and by evening it had hit Devera Jeevana Halli. Five deaths were reported soon after many people consumed the spurious liquor in the area in Bangalore around 8.30 p.m. Sunday.

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