Hooch tragedy toll reaches 127 in K'taka

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Bangalore, May 21 (UNI) The toll in the hooch tragedy mounted to 127 in Bangalore City, Bangalore Rural and Kolar Districts of Karnataka with 36 more deaths being reported overnight.

A spate of deaths was reported from Hoskote and Anekal Towns in Bangalore Rural District three days after the victims consumed the hooch.

Today, Hoskote reported 17 casualties, while nine died in Anekal.

Bangalore city accounted for eight deaths, while two died in Kolar District.

The district-wise toll so far was Bangalore city 60, Bangalore Rural 34 and Kolar 33.

In Narasapura Tekal and Bangarapet in Kolar District, the situation was improving, as some of those admitted to hospital were discharged, hospital sources told UNI.

However, in Bangalore District, including Anekal and Hoskote, the death toll rose sharply.

Nearly 150 people were admitted to various hospitals in these three places.

State Intelligence Department had alerted the Excise Department on the possibility of the hooch being sold in many other villages.

Governor Rameshwar Thakur visited Bowring Hospital, where some of the victims were admitted, following complaints from their relatives.

He directed the authorities to take immediate steps to post additional doctors at the hospital where more than 60 people were undergoing treatment.

Following the incident, authorities launched large-scale combing operation to bust illicit liquor dens and destroyed thousands of litres of wash used to manufacture illicit liquor, after conducting raids.

In the most affected places, villagers came forward to unearth and destroy brew-filled pots.

Meanwhile, five more people, including two women from Kolar district, were arrested in connection with the tragedy.

In Kolar District, 13 Excise Officials were kept under suspension, pending departmental inquiry, for dereliction of duty.

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