Ghusuri hooch tragedy: Death toll rises to 13

Spurious liquor at Ghusuri in Howrah district of West Bengal has claimed three more lives taking the death toll in the tragedy to 13, police said on Friday.

Local police sources said three more persons namely Kameshwar Rao, Nitish Singh and Balaram Manna, who were admitted to the hospital on Wednesday, died late on Thursday evening. All of them were workers of the local factories in the Ghusuri area.

Meanwhile, 15 other persons are currently under treatment at a local hospital. Although the condition of most of them have become stable, the condition of one individual Ganga Sau continues to be extremely critical.

On Wednesday morning, six persons were reported killed after consuming spurious liquor at a local hooch joint located adjacent to the railway tracks and at a stone- throwing distance behind the local Malipanchghora police station. Two persons were admitted to the local hospital.

During the course of the day, four more persons died at the hospital, thus taking the death toll to 10 on the same day.

Late on Thursday evening, three more succumbed at the hospital taking the total death toll to 13.

The local police have alleged involvement of a couple of Malipanchghora police station behind patronizing the illegal hooch joint owned by one Pratap Karmakar. The local people, especially women, alleged that the presence of the hooch joint had been vitiating the atmosphere there for quite some time and despite repeated complaints from the local people neither the local Malipanchghora police station nor the state excise department had taken any initiative to close the joint.

Meanwhile, on Friday morning the Malipanchghora police station refused to permit the leader of the opposition in West Bengal assembly, Suvendu Adhikari to hold a protest rally in the area against the hooch tragedy involving the local people. “So many people have died after consuming spurious liquor. But the police are silent against those who are responsible for it. And now they are not allowing us to conduct democratic protests,” Adhikari said.

The local Trinamool Congress MLA and the West Bengal minister in charge of the corporation department, Arup Roy alleged that the leader of the opposition is trying to unnecessarily do politics over bodies. aceI have already said that the offenders will be punished. Even if any police official is involved, they will not be spared,” Roy said.

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