SHAME: Death toll rises over 150 in Assam hooch tragedy
Golaghat: The death toll in the incidents of spurious liquor consumption in different parts of Golaghat and Jorhat districts of the state crosses over 100 till the filing of this report.
Apart from the deaths in Salmara Tea Estate, reports of casualties are also pouring in from various parts of both the districts, including Merapani, where the spurious liquor was reportedly prepared.
At Borhola area under Titabar subdivision of Jorhat district, altogether 25 people have died. Over 200 patients are getting treatment at Jorhat Medical College and Hospital (JMCH). Sources informed EastMojo that some of the patients in JMCH are in critical condition. Apart from the JMCH, affected people have also been shifted to different PHEs of both the districts.
Chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal has expressed serious concern over the death of people due to alcohol poisoning in Golaghat district and ordered an inquiry into the tragedy. Sonowal has instituted a one man inquiry and asked upper Asam divisional commissioner Julie Sonowal to inquire into the corollaries of events, leading to the death.
Meanwhile, talking to reporters, Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sharma, after visiting the affected people, said that strict action will be taken against the guilty. “Right now, we are trying our level best to provide adequate medical facilities to those affected in the tragedy,” he said.
Meanwhile, doctors from Dibrugarh Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) and Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) are on their will way to reach JMCH to provide better service to the affected people.
Earlier on Friday, Golaghat DC Dhiren Hazarika ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident and directed additional deputy commissioner Dhiraj Das to conduct the probe and submit a report within three days.
Earlier, Golaghat SP Pushparaj Singh said that the deceased had consumed methyl alcohol, which is poisonous for human health. He reportedly further revealed that three persons have been arrested till the filing of this report. Meanwhile, two excise officials—deputy inspector Porag Saikia and a constable Guluk Hazarika—have been placed under suspension for negligence of duty.
Following the directive from state chief minister, a team of Assam MLA and ministers also visited the site to access the situation. MP Kamakhya Pradasd Tassa also accompanied the team.
“Adequate compensation will also be provided to the victims of the tragedy,” state health minister Himanta Biswa Sharma added.
Meanwhile, Congress party MLA from Mariani Rupam Kurmi has demanded the immediate resignation of Assam minister for excise Parimal Suklabaidya for the incident.
More than 50 people had gathered for some kind of celebration in the labour lines of Salmara Tea Estate in Golaghat district on Thursday night. Four women collapsed and died soon after consuming the country liquor.
“We are not sure if the country liquor was contaminated, but the container in which it was brought appeared to be that of a toxic chemical whose residue could have been mixed with the liquor,” sources added.
Meanwhile, police has arrested Sanju Orang, owner of the liquor vendor, besides raiding nearby areas in a crackdown on illicit breweries.