Mumbai hooch tragedy soars to 66

Mumbai, June 20 (IANS) The overnight toll in the illicit liquor tragedy in a suburban bar here soared to 66 on Saturday morning with the death of 13 more people due to the poisonous brew, officials here said.

Another 31 victims are undergoing treatment in various hospitals, and the condition of at least a dozen is said to be critical.

Police on Friday cracked down on the law enforcers by suspending eight officials, including senior Police Inspector of Malwani police station, Prakash S. Patil, three officers and four constables, said Deputy Commissioner of Police Dhananjay Kulkarni, who is the police spokesperson.

So far, six people, including a woman, engaged in the bootlegging trade have been caught from various parts of the suburbs while three – Raju Hanumantha alias Langada, Donald Robert and Gautam Arde – were sent to police remand till June 26 on Friday.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has ordered an inquiry into the incident and sought a report within two days, an official spokesperson said here.

The victims are from very poor backgrounds, mostly living in Laxmi Nagar slums and employed as low-paying drivers and daily labourers. They had consumed the cheap country liquor at a bar in Rathodi village here on Wednesday night.

Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria has sought a report on the incident from local DCP and ACP and ordered that the illicit liquor trade must be completely stopped.

This is the second biggest illicit hooch tragedy in Mumbai since December 23, 2004, when spurious liquour claimed 87 lives

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