Left Front accuses State govt of negligence in treatment of victims

The death toll in the illicit liquor tragedy at Sangrampur and adjoining villages of the Diamond Harbour sub-division of West Bengal's South 24 Parganas district swelled to 169 on Saturday — with three more persons dying here in the last 24 hours.

While many admitted in the hospital are still fighting for life, some were released on the day.

“About 60 patients are still admitted in different hospitals. About 15 of them are critical but stable,” said Sikha Adhikari, the district's Chief Medical Officer of Health. Ms. Adhikari said that many patients have recovered and are being released.

Since Wednesday, 370 patients have been hospitalised after they consumed spurious liquor from the illicit liquor dens in Sangrampur and its vicinity. “Usually 72 hours is a sufficient time for alcohol to come out of the system. We have 30 patients at the hospital. Though most of them are stable, some are complaining of loss of vision,” said K. K. Banik, superintendent of M. R. Bangur Hospital where 78 patients were referred from the sub-divisional hospital.

While the locals ransacked various illegal liquor dens in the area, the administration also conducted raids at various places in the district where illegal liquor is manufactured.

A CID team visited the Diamond Harbour sub-divisional hospital on Saturday and spoke to the patients admitted in the hospital for liquor poisoning.

“We have recorded some statements and taken few photographs. Our investigations will continue,” said K. Jayaraman, DIG (CID), who visited the hospital. So far, 16 persons have been arrested in the incident and CID officials are likely to interrogate them

Meanwhile, Left Front Committee Chairman Biman Bose alleged that the government initially neglected treatment of the hooch victims, which worsened the situation.