Week-long raids in Rourkela following hooch tragedy

Rourkela: In a cleansing drive after the recent hooch tragedy which claimed 34 lives in Cuttack and Khurda district, Excise officials carried out a series of raids and arrested 28 illegal liquor vendors, including 14 women, in Rourkela, official sources said today.

Altogether 34 cases were registered during the week-long raids till Thursday, the sources said. Excise Inspector, Manoj Kumar Sethi said 680 litres of illicit distilled (ID) liquor, 3,195 kgs of fermented mahua and 140 kgs of mahua flowers were also seized.

In one of the worst hooch tragedies in the state, 34 people lost their lives after consuming illicit liquor in Cuttack and Khurda districts on February 6.

Excise minister A U Singhdeo resigned in the wake of the tragedy, the Excise Commissioner was shifted and two Excise officials suspended following the deaths.