The police in Uttar Pradesh’s Aligarh district have arrested the key accused in last month’s hooch tragedy, in which at least 36 people died, PTI reported on Sunday. Rishi Sharma is a Bharatiya Janata Party worker, according to the Hindustan Times.
Sharma, who carried a reward of Rs 1 lakh, was arrested from the Bulandshahr border early on Sunday, Aligarh Senior Superintendent of Police Kalanidhi Naithani told PTI. “Earlier, the police had arrested accused Vipin Yadav, with Rs 50,000 reward on his arrest, and Rishi Sharma’s brother Munish Sharma carrying a bounty of Rs 25,000 in this case,” the police officer added.
As many as 61 people have been arrested so far and 17 first information reports have been filed in connection with the deaths.
Till May 31, officials had reported 36 deaths due to alcohol poisoning in the district. Bhanu Pratap Kalyani, Aligarh’s chief medical officer, had told PTI then that 71 bodies were sent for postmortem analysis between May 28 and May 31 noon, and officials were trying to confirm the cause of death of the 35 others.
Apart from this, 10 more deaths took place in the district on June 4, reportedly due to alcohol poisoning. Officials estimate that the combined toll in these two incidents could go up to 100.
The police had been conducting raids across UP, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi to arrest the key accused in the case, who had been missing for 10 days, according to the Hindustan Times. “Police had monitored 500 call details, about 100 informers were activated and six police teams were constituted to nab Rishi Sharma,” the Aligarh senior superintendent of police was quoted as saying by the newspaper.