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Assam hooch tragedy toll rises to 124, over 330 taken ill

twitter-logoPTI | February 24, 2019 | Updated 13:22 IST

Guwahati, Feb 24 (PTI) The death toll in Assam's hooch tragedy has shot up to 124, while 331 people are undergoing treatment in hospitals, officials said on Sunday. At least 71 people have died in Jorhat Medical College Hospital (JMCH), where another 272 are under treatment, a senior Health Department official said. Four more died in Titabor Subdivision Hospital in Jorhat district, he said. In Golaghat district, the death count was 49, while 59 people are admitted in Golaghat Civil Hospital, the official said. Some of the deaths at homes have not been reported to authorities, he said. A large number of labourers of two tea estates of Golaghat and Jorhat districts had fallen ill after drinking spurious liquor on Thursday night and 12 of them had died the same night. Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Health Minister Himanta Sarma had on Saturday reviewed the condition of victims undergoing treatment at JMCH. Sonowal announced a monetary compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to those who fell ill. He also ordered an inquiry into the incident by Upper Assam Division Commissioner Julie Sonowal on Friday and directed her to submit the report within a month. Assam Director General of Police Kuladhar Saikia said 12 persons have been detained in Golaghat for interrogation. Doctors from Assam Medical College Hospital of Dibrugarh district, Gauhati Medical College Hospital and Tezpur Medical College Hospital in Sonitpur district have been rushed to the Jorhat and Golaghat hospitals to provide medical care, Sarma said. Besides, the Director of Medical Education Anup Barman, directors of Health, Assam and the National Rural Health Mission will be stationed in Jorhat to supervise and coordinate services being provided to patients, the minister had said on Saturday. Hospital authorities have also been instructed to provide food for attendants of the hooch victims, besides the mandatory health care facilities and medicines. This is the second major hooch tragedy in the country within a fortnight. At least 70 people had died in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand after drinking spurious liquor earlier this month. PTI ESB RBT DV DV

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