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Hooch toll rises amid raids

Patna, Jan. 5: A police team today raided suspected hideouts of an authorised liquor trader in the Mehadiganj area of Patna City following the death of 10 persons after consuming illicit liquor in the past 48 hours.

The team, led by the city superintendent of police, returned empty handed as the trader was absconding. Sources said the trader allegedly controlled supply of hooch in the area.

Till last night, eight persons had died. Two more deaths were reported from the Mehadiganj area today.

Viscera reports today confirmed that the people died after consuming spurious liquor. A senior police officer associated with the investigation said viscera samples were sent to the State Forensic Science Laboratory for test. “The reports confirmed that the people died due to consumption of spurious liquor,” he added.

Earlier, the district administration had said most of the victims died of various diseases and cold.

A team of excise department officials, in the meantime, conducted raids and took three persons into custody. Around 250 pouches of country liquor were also seized during the operation. Two suspects have been detained by the Mehadiganj police for interrogation, the sources said.

The Patna district administration has provided Rs 21,500 each to the dependents of the deceased for the last rites. Rashtriya Janata Dal chief and former railway minister Lalu Prasad, who met the victims’ families, announced to give Rs 25,000 from his party fund each to the families of those who lost their earning members.

An RJD delegation, led by its Rajya Sabha member, Ram Kripal Yadav, met the members of the bereaved families.


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