Illicit liquor claims 81 lives in West Bengal

Canning (WB):  Twenty-four more people died this morning, taking the toll in the hooch tragedy at Mograhat in South 24 Parganas district to 81.

Of the 24 deaths, seven were reported from Bangur, six from Chhittaranjan and the rest from Diamond Harbour hospitals, official sources said. A large number of people were admitted to hospitals on Wednesday night, the sources said, adding the casualty is likely to go up.

While 10 people died at Sangrampur village, around 40 km from Kolkata in the early hours today after drinking from some liquor joints near the Sangrampur railway station, 47 died in other hospitals where they were admitted, official sources said.

Among the dead, most are labourers, rickshaw-pullers and hawkers, they said.
The condition of over 100 people admitted to the Diamond Harbour Sub-Divisional Hospital, Sangrampur and in Kolkata was serious, the sources said, adding they had symptoms of severe stomach ache, vomiting and loose motion.

A medical team has been rushed to the area from Kolkata, Sunderban Affairs Minister Shyamal Mandal said. Locals smashed a liquor manufacturing unit at Mograhat and the joints from where it was being sold at Sangrampur.

The West Bengal government announced compensation of Rs 2 lakh each to the families of those who died.

State Public Health Engineering Minister Subrata Mukherjee announced the compensation in the assembly.

Union minister Mukul Roy, District Magistrate N S Nigam, SP L N Meena, Zilla Parishad Sabhadipati S Sheikh and CPI(M) leaders Rezzak Mollah and Sujon Chakrabarty visited the hospitals.