Death toll from illicit liquor disaster in India rises to 171

December 18, 2011

The death toll in the illicit liquor disaster in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal has risen to 171, as several more people died Friday after drinking the spurious liquor Tuesday night, reported local media Friday.

Meanwhile, around 90 people are battling for their lives and death toll could still rise, according to the reports.

The massive deadly poisoning, caused by drinking of industrial chemical made liquors by a large group of poor laborers at a shady liquor den near a railway station in West Bengal, was the worst disaster of its kind in India, said government officials.

The West Bengal government has also suspended Rajeshwar Pandey, an excise (tax-collecting) officer in charge of Diamond Harbor range, for “not conducting raids properly” against illegal liquor dens, said Indo-Asian News Service.

Police arrested two more people suspected to have sold the illicit liquor, taking the total number of arrests to 12. But the prime suspects and big bootleggers remained absconding, according to the news service.

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