Spurious Liquor Tragedy: Govt Orders CID Inquiry

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Kolkata: Seven persons died and 16 were hospitalised on Wednesday after consuming spurious liquor at Shantipur in West Bengal’s Nadia district, the state’s Finance Minister Amit Mitra said.

The state government ordered a CID inquiry into the incident and details on whether the victims consumed country liquor can be confirmed only after chemical examination, he said in the assembly premises.

Eleven excise officials, including the present Shantipur officer-in-charge (excise), his immediate predecessor, the deputy excise collector of Ranaghat range and eight excise constables, have been suspended, he said.

“The government wants to send a strong message that those responsible for the incident will not be spared,” Mitra said.

He announced compensation of Rs 2 lakh each to the kin of the deceased. The CID investigations would also be able to throw light on whether the spurious liquor is being smuggled into rural Bengal from Bihar and Jharkhand, he said.

Nadia District Magistrate Sumit Gupta put the number of people who fell ill at 44 and said they were admitted at Kalna and Shantipur hospitals.

The condition of some of them are stated to be critical, hospital sources said. Gupta said he was monitoring the situation at the hospital along with the local sub-divisional officer, block development officer and district chief medical officer (health).

The incident happened at Nrishinghapur village under Shantipur police station area of the district early on Wednesday, police said.

Locals said a majority of the dead and the sick were brick-field labourers and alleged that the spurious liquor was brought from nearby Kalna in Burdwan district.