Worst ever hooch tragedy claims 94 lives in Assam

Worst ever hooch tragedy claims 94 lives in Assam

Agency News

Guwahati, Feb 23: In the worst ever hooch tragedy in Assam, 94 people have died so far in Golaghat and Jorhat districts in the eastern part of the state since Thursday, with the casualty figure on the rise.

Six arrests in both the districts have been made so far and multiple enquiries instituted to probe the incident, while ex-gratia of Rs two lakh to families of the deceased has also been announced. The highest number of casualties with 59 deaths has been reported from Golaghat, deputy commissioner Dhiren Hazarika said.

Two arrests were made in the district today, while four others were apprehended yesterday. In bordering Jorhat district, 35 deaths have been confirmed by deputy commissioner Roshni Korati. Six arrests have also made in the district so far.

More than 200 people from both districts are currently hospitalised at Jorhat Medical College and Hospital in Jorhat while over 100 people are hospitalized in Golaghat civil hospital and eight others in Titabor subdivision hospital.

Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal visited the JMCH today and took stock of the condition of those admitted. He announced ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh to families of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for those hospitalised.

State Health Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sharma, who had visited JMCH this morning, said additional doctors are being called in from Dibrugarh and Tezpur medical colleges and hospitals. Besides free medicines for those admitted, arrangements for food of the attendants are also being made, he added.

Meanwhile, Upper Assam Division Commissioner Julie Sonowal has already started an enquiry into the incidents, while a four member team of Excise department, led by an additional commissioner, has also launched a separate investigation.

Besides, a magisterial enquiry into the Jorhat deaths have also been ordered. Two Excise officials of Golaghat district have been placed under suspension.

The first deaths in Halmira tea estate of Golaghat were reported on Thursday night with preliminary investigation indicating that the victims fell sick after consuming spurious illegal distilled liquor, called 'sulai' locally. (UNI )