Two persons die under mysterious circumstances

Berhampur: Two persons including a former district council member, died under mysterious circumstances at Jagannath Prasad in Odisha's Ganjam district after allegedly consuming liquor, police said here on Sunday.

Former Zilla Parishad member Pratap Panda died at Jagannath Prasad while his friend Santosh Patnaik (50) breathed his last on way to the MKCG Medical College Hospital here last night, they said.

Panda's wife Namita Panda is the sarpanch of Kadua grampanchayat. "Mystery shrouds the death of the duo. We hope the cause of the death will come out after the post-mortem report is available," said sub divisional police officer, Bhanjanagar, R Ch Sethi.

District collector Krishan Kumar had asked the additional district magistrate (ADM) and superintendent of excise to inquire into the matter.

Police said before their death, they had allegedly consumed liquor at different places and the last time they had taken India made foreign liquor (IMFL) of a branded company from a foreign liquor shop in the town. "Both had consumed liquor before the incident. But we can not say that they died due to consumption of liquor," said Sushant Patnaik, younger brother of Santosh.

Immediately after the death of Panda, the foreign liquor shop in the town was sealed last night and it opened this morning after arrival of the excise officials.

Excise superintendent, Ganjam, B N Dhal said the liquor which they had taken before their death was branded one and "we can't suspect it to be spurious". However, excise and police personnel seized all liquor stock of the same batch. "The samples will be sent for chemical test," Dhal said.