The death toll in the twin hooch tragedies in India’s Uttar Pradesh and neighbouring Uttarakhand has increased to 97, with over 200 people arrested in a police crackdown, officials said on Sunday.
A total of 64 deaths were reported in Uttar Pradesh -- 54 in Saharanpur district and 11 in Kushinagar.
Saharanpur district magistrate Alok Kumar Pandey told IANS that of the 46 post-mortems conducted so far, 36 were confirmed to have died due to the consumption of spurious liquor.
Meerut Superintendent of Police (SP) Ranvijay Singh said 14 people undergoing treatment at the Meerut Medical College, were in serious condition.
Meanwhile, 32 deaths were also reported in Haridwar, Uttarakhand, according to Excise Department officials
The Uttar Pradesh victims had visited Balupur in Roorkie, Uttarakhand, on 7 February for a funeral after which they consumed the illicit liquor, police sources said.
In the police crackdown, 9,269 litres of hooch was seized in Uttar Pradesh while 1,066 litres was recovered in Uttarakhand.
A total of 215 persons have been arrested in Uttar Pradesh, while cases against 297 persons have been filed. Forty-nine cases have been registered in Uttarakhand.
The Uttar Pradesh government has ordered a magisterial enquiry into the tragedy and many officials of the police and the Excise Department have been suspended.