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Death toll in UP-Uttarakhand hooch tragedies reach 97

Lucknow: The death toll in the twin hooch tragedies in 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 officials
The Uttar Pradesh victims had visited Balupur in Roorkie, Uttarakhand, on February 7 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.
Meanwhile, on Sunday Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath recalling the hands of Samajwadi Party in “such mischievous acts” and BSP chief Mayawati seeking a CBI probe into the matter. Adityanath, from his home turf Gorakhpur, warned of stern action against all those found involved in illicit liquor trade even if they were associated with any political party. “In the past too, such type of mischievous acts by SP leaders had come to fore. In Azamgarh, Hardoi, Kanpur and Barabanki, SP leaders were found to be involved in past hooch tragedies. We can’t deny conspiracy this time too,” Yogi told reporters Saturday night.
Samajwadi Party (SP) president and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav slammed the BJP on Sunday over the deaths in the tragedy.
He said, “The opposition has been notifying the government about such activities, but they did not act as some of its leaders are involved. The truth is that without the backing of the government, such businesses cannot be carried out. The BJP should accept the fact that they cannot run the state.” The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), the SP’s alliance partner for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, also blamed the BJP governments in UP and Uttarakhand for the deaths. (PTI)

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