The number of deaths due to the consumption of spurious liquor in Madhya Pradesh’s Morena district rose to 20 on Wednesday, ANI reported. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan held a high-level meeting to discuss the incident.
Morena district’s superintendent of police and collector have been suspended from their positions with immediate effect.
Chouhan said that the culprits will not be spared. “This is an immensely sad and inhuman incident,” he tweeted. “There will be a campaign against illicit liquor in the state so that such incidents are not repeated. Strict action will be taken against the officials responsible for such incidents.”
Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra told ANI that the distillery that manufactured the spurious liquor will also be investigated. “It is a sad and serious incident,” he added. “[The] chief minister had clarified that such incidents cannot be tolerated.”
The police had on Tuesday arrested one person in connection with the incident and filed a first information report against seven people. Morena district’s excise officer and a station house officer were also suspended.
This is not the first such incident in the state. In October, over 11 people had died after consuming illicit liquor in Ujjain. Two police constables among others were arrested over the incident. In May, four people had died and two others fell ill after allegedly consuming spurious liquor in Ratlam district.
During the countrywide lockdown when the sale of liquor was prohibited, many in Bhopal and Andhra Pradesh’s Prakasam district had resorted to consuming hand sanitisers.