The Uttar Pradesh Police on Wednesday arrested the main accused in the Barabanki hooch tragedy following a brief encounter, IANS reported. Pappu Jaiswal was shot on the leg during a gunfight with police officials near Amrai Kund.
After consuming adulterated liquor, several people died or were taken ill on Tuesday. The toll has gone up to 16, while 38 people are undergoing treatment.
“Based on the information received from the victims, the police arrested the main accused after an encounter,” Additional Superintendent of Police RS Gautam told ANI. “Pappu, who had a reward of Rs 20,000 on him, was injured and taken to the hospital afterwards.”
Illegally manufactured liquor had allegedly been refilled into original bottles that led to the deaths, Superintendent of Police (Barabanki) Ajay Sahni said. Two brands of country liquor, Power House and Windies, was consumed by the victims. Raids were conducted in several places and the illegal liquor brands were seized. Two first information reports have been registered in the case while investigation is under way.
The FIR was lodged by Monu, whose father and three brothers died in the incident, the Hindustan Times reported. Jaiswal is the fourth person to be arrested in the case. Salesmen working at the liquor shop Sunil Kumar Jaiswal, Pitambar, and Chottu were arrested on Tuesday.
Police will send recommendations to impose the National Security Act against those arrested. Excise officials had also issued an alert after the deaths occurred that the two brands had been stolen from authorised shops in the area. This led to the suspension of a district excise officer, an excise inspector and two policemen of Ramnagar.
Chief Minister Adityanath had asked for a high-level inquiry. The tragedy occurred three months after countrymade liquor claimed the lives of 108 people in the state.