Jodhpur liquor toll rises to five

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Jodhpur, Jan 19 (PTI) With the death of three morepersons, the toll in the hooch tragedy here shot up to fivetoday, even as the police conducted a series of raids andarrested two men for alleged illegal sale of liquor.

According to hospital sources, while three persons havedied, two more are admitted in the ICU and four in the medicalward of the MDM Hospital.

Police and the Excise Department have swung into actionafter the tragedy struck Sangaria, an industrial area of thecity, yesterday. Police said two persons have been arrestedfor selling liquor "illegally" and a huge quantity of liquor(both foreign and country-made), empty bottles and packingmaterial have been seized.

Besides this, a large quantity of country-made liquorwere destroyed some areas.

Two persons had died yesterday after consuming allegedspurious liquor at a ''dhaba'' in Indra Colony in Sangaria.

The post-mortem report of the dead has confirmedconsumption of liquor but whether it was poisonous or not willbe confirmed only after viscera reports come, police said.

Most of these persons belong to Gadia Lohar tribe settledin the locality and are labourers at the factories nearby.

Local residents allege that cheap liquor is freelyavailable on these street ''dhabas'' despite a ban on sale ofliquor after 8 pm. They also allege that traders are inconnivance with some police and excise officials.

The opposition BJP has demanded suitable relief to thevictims'' families apart from an effective ban of the sale ofliquor after 8 pm.

The district administration has already released a reliefof Rs 20,000 for next of kin of the deceased.

District Magistrate Siddharth Mahajan said that of thesefive, two are locals, who have been given the relief amountand one of them belonged to Nagaur district and out of therest, one each is from Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

The relief amount will be sent to the respective placesafter the identification of their kin, he added.

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