Mumbai hooch tragedy toll mounts to 100

Mumbai, June 22 (IANS) The death toll in the Mumbai hooch tragedy – the worst in 11 years in Maharashtra – shot up to 100 on Monday, police said.

“The toll has reached 100 and another 48 people are under treatment in various hospitals,” Deputy Commissioner of Police Dhananjay Kulkarni, who is also Mumbai Police spokesperson, told IANS.

The victims had consumed liquor at a country liquor bar in Malwani area on June 17 night.

The Crime Branch has launched a manhunt across Mumbai and its surroundings for at least four bootleggers who are said to be the kingpins of the illicit liquor trade.

Police have nabbed around 20 people following the tragedy.

Alarmed by the steadily rising death figures, the Maharashtra government cracked down by suspending four excise department officials on Saturday and eight police personnel on Friday.

The government is also planning to amend laws pertaining to the sale, storage and transportation of country liquor to avoid similar tragedies in future, officials said.

The victims were mostly residents of Laxmi Nagar slums and had consumed the cheap liquor in Rathodi village nearby.

In December 2004, 87 people died in two separate incidents in Mumbai.

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