The National Human Rights Commission on Monday issued a notice to Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary Rajive Kumar in connection with the deaths of 11 people allegedly after consuming spurious liquor. The commission asked the chief secretary to submit a report within four weeks.

The alcohol was reportedly bought from licensed government liquor shops in Kanpur and Kanpur Dehat.

The commission said it had taken suo motu cognisance of media reports about the tragedy which, if true, would amount to the government violating the victims’ right to life. The Commission said providing compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the families of the victims cannot be a remedy.

“It is necessary for the state authorities to take immediate effective measures to stop selling of spurious liquor from licensed shops and to take up investigation to reveal the exact reason of selling contaminated liquor,” the commission said.

It referred to media reports which said that the same batch of liquor was sold to the victims in both districts. The commission added that wherever there is no prohibition on liquor, it becomes the responsibility of the state government to ensure that any kid of spurious or poisonous liquor is not sold at licensed shops under their jurisdiction.

Apart from 11 deaths, at least 16 people have taken seriously ill after consuming the alcohol, PTI reported. Eleven people have reportedly been arrested in connection with the matter.