Mumbai hooch toll climbs to 86;four Excise officials suspended
Mumbai: The death toll in the Malad hooch tragedy today climbed to 86 even as the Excise department suspended four of its officials in connection with the incident.
According to Mumbai Police spokesman Dhanajay Kulkarni, 86 people have died so far while 34 are undergoing treatment at eight different hospitals across the city.
The incident occurred at Laxmi Nagar slum near Gamdevi Jurassic park in suburban Malad on Wednesday night. Police has already arrested five accused in the case but prime accused Mainka Bai is still on the run.
Earlier too, we had booked Mainka Bai alias Akka in connection with spurious liquor but she managed to get bail, he added.
The officials who were suspended are: Jagdeesh Deshmukh, Rajendra Salunkhe, Versha Vengulkar and Dhanaji Dalvi, against whom a departmental enquiry would be launched soon, said State Excise Department Commissioner Shyamsundar Shinde.
“These officials were found to be incompetent and prima-facie its a case of dereliction of duty,” Shinde told PTI.
Also, eight personnel attached to Malwani police station have been suspended after the incident.
Earlier, the highest death toll in a hooch tragedy stood at 87 in suburban Vikhroli in December 2005. Meanwhile, taking precautionary measures to avoid further loss of lives, Mumbai police has launched a manhunt to trace those who might have consumed spurious liquor that day.
“We are checking every home in the vicinity and asking them whether they consumed liquor on that day. We found eight such persons and have admitted them to a nearby hospital,” said a police official.
The Excise department in the last one year booked as many as 117 cases of illegal distribution of hooch in Malwani.