Spurious liquor tragedy toll rises to 86 in Punjab

41 more die in Tarn Taran I Rs2 lakh compensation for next of kin

PK Jaiswar & Gurbaxpuri

Tribune News Service

Amritsar/Tarn Taran, Aug 1

The death toll owing to consumption of spurious liquor in Punjab’s Majha area has risen to 86 with 41 more deaths in Tarn Taran today. As many as 12 persons have died in Amritsar Rural and 11 in Batala, Gurdaspur. The Punjab Government has announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the next of kin of the deceased and free treatment for those hospitalised.

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Bodies continued to arrive at the Tarn Taran Civil Hospital hospital till late Friday evening. Among those admitted were Jaspal Singh (35) of Malia village, Harinder Singh (63) of Bachre village, Satnam Singh (42) of Kakka Kandila, Dilbagh Singh of Guru Teg Bahadur Nagar and Lakhwinder Singh (53) of Kang village. Satnam Singh and Dilbag Singh have been shifted to Guru Nanak Dev Hospital, Amritsar. In the absence of adequate arrangements, the bodies were kept on the floor after autopsy, triggering an angry protest by the family members, activists of the Jamhoori Kisan Sabha and local Akali leaders. The Jamhoori Kisan Sabha, representing 17 farm and labour organisations, ended the protest after long parleys with Khadoor Sahib MP Jasbir Singh Dimpa. The latter told the protesters that Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh had agreed to a compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the families of the deceased.

He also said directions had been issued to the Punjab Police to go after those who had stored, transported and supplied the spurious liquor to bootleggers. Meanwhile, the Amritsar (Rural) police have booked Dehati Mazdoor Sabha’s general secretary Gurnam Singh Daood and 50 others for holding a protest in violation of the Epidemic Diseases Act, Disaster Management Act and the lockdown curbs.

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