With reports of 43 more casualties in Tarn Taran district, the death toll in the Punjab hooch tragedy has climbed to 64 and the count is still on.
Till Friday night, 39 deaths were reported from three districts comprising Amritsar, Tarn Taran and Gurdaspur. The government authorities had confirmed 19 in Tarn Taran alone, followed by 11 in Amritsar and nine in Batala town of Gurdaspur.
According to reports, apprehending government action, some families even cremated the bodies without informing the police and evading post mortem examinations. The family members of several victims were not coming forward to record their statements, and were not admitting that their kin died after consuming hooch.
The PTI reported quoting Kulwant Singh, Deputy Commissioner, Tarn Taran, saying that the death toll has reached 42 with maximum deaths in the Sadar and the City areas of the district.
Gurdaspur Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Ishfaq said some families have refused to accept that their kin died after consuming spurious liquor. The wards of some of those who died are not accepting that they
died because of spurious liquor. They are saying their family members died of heart attack, said the DC.
The Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh has already promised strict action against anyone involved in the case and has directed the police to crack down on any spurious liquor manufacturing unit operating in the state.
Within 24 hours of the CM's directives, the Punjab Police have arrested 10 people from different places for their alleged connection in this case.
The Opposition Shiromani Akali Dal on Friday had demanded a judicial probe by a sitting judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court while the Aam Aadmi Party sought the Chief Minister's resignation.