Kolkata hooch tragedy death toll rises to 27

January 6th, 2009 - 9:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Jan 6 (IANS) The number of people who died in Kolkata after consuming poisonous country-made liquor has risen to 27, the police said Tuesday. “Twenty-seven people have died till Tuesday afternoon after consuming spurious liquor Saturday night at Khidirpore port area in south-west Kolkata,” city police deputy commissioner (detective department) Jawed Shamim told IANS.

Meanwhile, Kolkata municipal corporator Faiyaz Ahmed Khan alleged that the police posted in the area were aware of the illicit liquor dens but did not act against them.

“It is not possible that the police posted at Khidirpore were unaware of so many illicit country-liquor shops running there. But they didn’t take necessary steps for unknown reasons. However, they cannot be spared. The police commissioner should take proper action against them,” he told reporters.

However, Shamim termed Khan’s statement solely a ‘personal view’.

“Whatever Khan said was his personal viewpoint and need not be ours as well. We are looking into the matter and if there are any loopholes on our end, we will take action,” Shamim said.

The officer further said that raids are being conducted across the city to seize spurious liquor and demolish illicit liquor shops. The proprietors of such shops are also being arrested.

“Six people have been arrested in connection with the Khidirpore tragedy. Besides, we have arrested several other brewers during our raids from various parts of the city,” Shamim said.

Many labourers at the Bibi Halt and Hooghly Basti areas of Khidirpore fell ill after a late night drinking session Saturday. They started vomiting blood and writhed in pain after reaching home from the illegally-run liquor shops.

At least 23 people died in the incident with many succumbing before they could be taken to the hospital.

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