Etah: The toll in the spurious liquor tragedy on Sunday climbed to 24, even as the main accused was arrested and 11 officials from excise department and police have been suspended.
While 14 persons died on Saturday, the fresh casualties were reported overnight from Etah and Farukhabad, officials said.
"Twenty one persons have died so far in the liquor tragedy in Etah," District Magistrate Ajay Yadav said. In Farukhabad, Sub Divisional Magistrate of Kayamganj, Ajit Kumar said three persons, who had consumed liquor in Etah, died in the district.
The main accused Sripal was arrested from Nayagaon area in Etah last night, SP Ajay Shankar Rai said. The incident occurred late on Friday, when several people from Luhari Darwaja and adjacent Laukhera village consumed the spurious liquor and were taken ill.
Five government employees, including three from the excise department, have been suspended following the incident. Six of the victims have lost their eyesight, locals claimed.
The DM said an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh will be given to the families of each deceased and action will be taken against the liquor mafias.
In Lucknow, Chief Secretary Deepak Singhal apprised Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav of the incident. Singhal directed Principal Secretary (Excise) and Principal Secretary (Home) to take action against officials found guilty of dereliction of duty.
"Taking serious note of the incident, district excise officer, excise inspector and an excise personnel have been suspended," Principal Secretary (Excise) Kishan Singh Atoria said.
Principal Secretary (Home) Debashish Panda said Circle Officer of Aliganj, Asaram Ahirwar and Station House Officer Mukesh Kumar have been suspended. Etah SP has suspended Sub-Inspector Yogendra Kumar and constables Bhagat Singh, Om Prakash, Tukiram, Bhagwan Singh and Mahesh Chandra.