Assam spurious liquor death toll rises to 143

Hospital authorities have also been instructed to provide food for attendants of the hooch victims besides the mandatory health care facilities and medicines

22 tea workers die after drinking spurious liquor in Assam

"The drink is essentially a molasses-based brew, but people producing spurious liquor add methanol and ingredients like urea to increase its potency", she said. "Many people are admitted here and undergoing treatment".

Guwahati: The death toll in Assam's hooch tragedy climbed to 124 on Sunday with another 331 people undergoing treatment in various hospitals in Upper Assam's Jorhat and Golaghat districts.

"Almost 200 people are still hospitalized, but I think the worst is over. The police are helping them and accordingly, the investigations will continue". The protestors were shouting slogan against the failure of the excise department and criticized the minister for his failure to prevent such a tragedy. Dilip Rajbnonshi, a doctor at the government hospital in Golaghat, located some 40 kilometres southwest of Jorhat said the deaths were due to "spurious country liquor" A number of women are among the casualties.

"The government must ban the sale of spurious liquor soon".

Excise officials said more than 100 cases have been registered after a crackdown on bootleggers and illicit brewers across Assam.

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"We shall not spare anyone involved in manufacture and distribution of the tainted liquor", Minister Sharma said.

The owner of a local brewing unit and 13 others have been arrested, said top police official Mukesh Agarwal.

"Family members of people who died after drinking the liquor will be given Rs 2 lakh ex-gratia by the Assam government, and others affected by the tragedy will get Rs 50,000", S Pandey, public relations officer of the department, told news agency ANI. "They have been booked on charges of criminal conspiracy, causing hurt by means of poison and causing death by negligence under the Indian Penal Code", Dhruba Borah, Golaghat additional superintendent of police, said. Minister gave strict instructions to the hospital officials and said that no negligence will be accepted in an ongoing treatment. "So far about 200 people are in hospital with many of them critical" said Sarma. Meanwhile, the opposition Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) president continues to demand an adequate compensation for the families of the victims.

The tragedy had first struck the Salmara Tea Estate in Golaghat district on Thursday night when the workers of the garden gathered at a house to celebrate the birth of a baby.

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