Etah (UP), July 17: The main accused in the spurious liquor tragedy has been arrested even as the death toll from the alcohol poisoning climbed to 21 today.
The main accused Sripal was arrested from Nayagaon area last night, Superintendent of Police Ajay Shankar Rai said. "Twenty one persons have died so far in the liquor tragedy," District Magistrate Ajay Yadav said.
The incident happened late on Friday, when several people from Luhari Darwaja and adjacent Laukhera village consumed spurious liquor and were taken ill.
Fourteen people died last night. Five government employees, including three from the excise department, have been suspended following the incident. Twelve other persons were taken ill after drinking the hooch. Of them, six have lost their sight, locals claimed.
Yadav has said said that an ex-gratia amount of Rs 2 lakh each would given to the families of the deceased and asserted that action will be taken against liquor mafias.
In Lucknow, Chief Secretary Deepak Singhal had apprised Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav of the incident following which he directed Principal Secretary (Excise) and Principal Secretary (Home) to take action against officials found guilty of dereliction of duty.
"Taking serious note of the incident, district excise officer, excise inspector and an excise personnel have been suspended," Principal Secretary (Excise) Kishan Singh Atoria said.
Principal Secretary (Home) Debashish Panda had said Circle Officer Aliganj Asaram Ahirwar and Station House Officer Mukesh Kumar have been suspended for dereliction of duty.
SP, Etah, has also suspended Sub-Inspector Yogendra Kumar, constable Bhagat Singh, Om Prakash, Tukiram, Bhagwan Singh and Mahesh Chandra.