Toll mounts in Mumbai hooch tragedy

RSTV Bureau

Mumbai: Police inspect the spot where alcohol made after five people were died and several under treatment after consuming spurious liquor at Malwani in Mumbai on Thursday. (Photo-PTI)

Death toll in the Mumbai hooch tragedy continues to rise. 64 people have now died and 31 others are said to be in a critical state after they consumed spurious liquor. The toll has almost doubled in less than 24 hours.

The incident occurred on Wednesday night in Laxmi Nagar slum area near Gamdevi Jurassic Park in suburban Malad.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has ordered an inquiry into the incident even as the number of arrests in the case has gone up to five.

Fransis Thomas Demalo (46) and Salim Mahboob Shaikh (39), both residents of nearby area have been arrested in connection with the case, the police said.

Earlier, the police had arrested Raju Hanmanta Pascar, Donald Robert Patel and Gautam Harte. All three were produced before a local court and have been remanded in police custody till June 26.

Many heads have also begun to roll as the death toll continues to mount. Eight policemen including a senior police inspector attached to Malwani police station were suspended on Friday.

“Senior police inspector (attached to Malwani police station) along with seven other personnel, including three officers and four constables, have been suspended for connivance/negligence,” said Dhananjay Kulkarni, the spokesperson for Mumbai Police.

The accused have been booked under Sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 328 (causing hurt by means of poison, etc. with intent to commit an offence) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code, explained Kulkarni.

The police have also collected samples of the spurious liquor and sent it for analysis. The results are awaited.

This is the second time in a decade that so many people have died after consuming spurious liquor. In 2004, 87 people were killed because of spurious liquor in Vikhroli in Mumbai.