Subadh Kumar Nayak

Rayagada: One person died while over 20 others fell ill after allegedly consuming spurious country-made liquor at Kataguda village in Kalyansinghpur area of Rayagada district on Friday. The deceased has been identified as Dhanphul Huika, a native of Dhepaguda.

Around 30 people including Dhanphul reportedly fell sick after they consumed liquor and developed symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting and swelling in abdomen.

"He (Dhanphul Hoika) returned home after taking liquor in Kataguda. He complained of illness and stomach ache before dying at 1.30 PM yesterday," informed Dhanphul's relative.

All the sick persons were rushed to Kalyansinghpur Community Health Centre for treatment. Two of them were later shifted to Rayagada Hospital after their condition deteriorated further.

Taking a serious note of the incident, Rayagada district collector Pramod Behera ordered a probe into the matter.

The concerned Health and Excise officials including Additional District Medical Officer (ADMO) visited Kalyansinghpur hospital to inquire about the health condition of the sick. Besides, they conducted a raid in Kataguda .

While the locals held the Excise department responsible for the liquor tragedy, the Excise officials claimed that the incident took place due to food poisoning. "They did not consume the wine from any of the licensed liquor units. They drank country-made wine and fell sick due to food poising," informed Dilip Gauda, Excise official, Rayagada.