Gujarat to set up probe panel as illicit liquor toll rises to 27


Gandhinagar : The Gujarat government has decided to set up a commission to probe the illicit liquor tragedy in Ahmedabad which has left 27 dead so far, State Home Minister Amit Shah told the Gujarat legislative assembly Wednesday.

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The minister during his reply to the opposition members, however, did not immediately provide any time line by which the commission would start probing the tragedy.

“The government has ordered suspension of a deputy superintendent of police in-charge of the areas where the tragedy took place and all necessary action is being taken against the responsible officials,” Shah said.

He added that the deaths from the hooch so far number 27 and that the government is monitoring the situation closely. The opposition members later protested what they termed “insufficient action” taken by the state government in the illicit liquor episode, and staged an angry walkout from the assembly.

Meanwhile, unofficial figures put at 16 the number of those still under critical care in four major hospitals of Ahmedabad.

The initial toll on Tuesday from the Sagarpitha area where the first deaths were reported was seven. The figure jumped to 16 by midnight when many people were also brought from the labour cluster of Behrampur in critical condition.

At 1.30 pm Wednesday, the toll stood at 27, but is feared to rise further as more critically ill people are being brought to hospitals from Odhav locality, said a senior resident of a government hospital in Ahmedabad.

He said a high percentage of ethyl alcohol in the brew seems to have caused so many casualties.

Meanwhile, the Gujarat police have started raiding liquor dens across Gujarat to nab the bootleggers.