New Delhi: In a second such incident in less than two weeks in the country, around 140 tea garden workers in Assam’s Golaghat district have lost their lives after drinking contaminated liquor and over 300 have been hospitalized. In a similar incident last month, the twin hooch tragedies in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand has left more than 100 people dead.
According to the state government official, many of the victims among dead are women, who were mainly tea plantation workers. A doctor from the government hospital in Golaghat Dilip Rajbnonshi has confirmed that the deaths were due to spurious country liquor.
The government has announced ex gratia relief of Rs 2 lakh for the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for those who are hospitalized.
According to the Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, people who have consumed liquor some days ago are coming for treatment hearing the news of the hooch tragedy out of fear. Sarma said, “Patients who had developed complications two-three days ago are coming now. These people are psychologically in shock and so they think they are ill. … The death toll and the number of people admitted is changing minute to minute.”
The owners of the illegal countrymade liquor factory, in Jugibaari and 11 other people have been arrested so far in the case. Two excise officials of Salmara area have been suspended for ignorance. Golaghat deputy commissioner Dhiren Hazarika has promised thorough investigation in the incident.