Lucknow, Jan 14: With the death of seven more persons, the toll in the hooch tragedy in Lucknow and Unnao districts today climbed to 38 even as the Uttar Pradesh government removed Excise Commissioner in connection with the incident.
"Total 38 persons have died since Monday, which include 32 in Lucknow and 6 in Unnao," IG (Law and Order) A Satish Ganesh told PTI.
The condition of eight of them was stated to be critical.
"While 28 patients each are undergoing treatment at Lohia, Civil and Balrampur hospital, 16 are admitted in King George Medical College. Of those admitted to KGMU, 15 patients face risk of permanent blindness," Chief Medical Officer SNS Yadav said.
Taking serious note of the incident Uttar Pradesh government removed State Excise Commissioner Anil Garg from his post last night. He has been put on the wait list.
"Excise Commissioner Anil Garg has been removed from the post by the state government. No fresh appointment has been made in his place," a spokesman had said.
The tragedy led to state-wide crackdown against sale of illicit liquor with police carrying out raids and arresting people involved in the spurious liquor trade, a senior officer said.
Earlier, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had sought an explanation from Garg yesterday following the hooch tragedy. He had also announced compensation of Rs two lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased.
The government has so far suspended 22 excise and police department staff, besides ordering a magisterial probe. District Magistrate Raj Shekhar said that a magisterial inquiry has been ordered keeping in view the magnitude of the tragedy.
Cases were lodged in Malihabad, Hasanganj, Aurus areas here and two persons were detained.
Demanding strong action, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, during a visit here, told reporters that the state government should thoroughly probe the deaths and initiate strict action against those found guilty.
The hooch tragedy occurred in Kharta and other villages in Malihabad area of Lucknow and Talasarai village in Hasanganj area of Unnao district.