21 killed, including many critics after drinking methylated spirits sold in packets of “alcohol”

In a tragic incident, at least 21 people lost their lives and 20 others were admitted to different hospitals after consuming fake alcohol in Botad district of Gujarat on Monday night. Some of the patients are in critical condition.

Gujarat Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) and Ahmedabad Criminal Branch have also joined the investigation. While two people died in the morning, five others lost their lives while being treated during the day, Gujarat Police Director General (DGP), Ashish Bhatia said. Three other people later died during treatment, officials said late Monday night.

Police revealed the names of three main defendants – Jayesh alias Raju, the director of a company associated with the Methyl business, his relative Sanjay and Pintu, who ordered 200 liters of methyl worth Rs 60,000 then distributed it in the name of liquor.

Jayesh allegedly stole methyl from the 200 liter container little by little and recovered 200 liters of it. He then gave it to Sanjay, who, together with Pintu, poured it into sachets.

The police seized around 450 liters of methyl, which was to be used.

“According to our information, five people from Botad district and five from two villages in Dhandhuka taluka of Ahmedabad district have died so far. At least 20 people are still under treatment in different hospitals, mainly at Sir Takhtsinhji Hospital. of Bhavnagar. Some of them are critical,” Botad Superintendent of Police Karanraj Vaghela told reporters late Monday night. He said a case of accidental death has been recorded and some people were detained for questioning.”Police will add the murder charge if necessary. Gujarat ATS as well as Ahmedabad Criminal Branch have also joined our investigation to catch the culprits,” Vaghela said.

Bhatia had said that police had arrested three people from Botad district who were allegedly involved in making and selling fake alcoholic beverages made in the countryside. Most of the deceased are workers. The case came to light after some residents of Rojid village in Barvala taluka of Botad district and other surrounding villages were referred to government hospitals in Barvala and Botad towns after their health started deteriorating early. Monday morning.

Earlier in the day, the wife of a victim under treatment told reporters that her husband’s condition began to deteriorate hours after consuming alcohol in the village of Rojid on Sunday evening. A Himmatbhai, who is recovering, said at least 15 people fell ill after consuming booze they bought from a smuggler on Sunday night.

Inspector General of Police (Bhavnagar Range) Ashok Kumar Yadav visited Botad Civil Hospital in the evening. He said a Special Investigation Team (SIT) under the direction of an officer of the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police will be formed to investigate the incident and catch the smugglers who sold the fake liquor.

Calling the incident “unfortunate”, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who is visiting Gujarat, alleged that illegal alcohol is being sold in large quantities in Gujarat, where the ban is in place. He alleged that people selling illicit alcohol enjoyed political protection and called for an investigation into the “trail” of the money generated from the sale of alcohol.

“It is unfortunate that despite the ban, illegal alcohol is being sold in large quantities in Gujarat. Who are the people selling illegal alcohol? They enjoy political protection. Where does the money go (generated from the sale of illegal alcohol)? This needs to be probed,” he told reporters in Porbandar. The Gujarat Prohibition Act, formerly known as the Bombay Prohibition Act, 1949, authorizes the police to arrest a person for purchasing, consuming or serving alcohol without a license with a penalty ranging from three months to five years in prison. It also penalizes the transport of alcohol.

(With contributions from Janak Dave and PTI)

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