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More die as hooch consumption goes up

By Irfanul Haq 2020-04-29
RAHIM YAR KHAN: As 15 more people died after consuming tainted liquor during the last few days in adjoining areas of Khanpur city, the toll has risen to 30 in Punjab during the last two weeks, though police disagrees.

Repons said Abdul Maalik, Fida Hussain, Ismail and Akmal, residents of Basti Jhulan of Mauza Gullan Gulkala, near Khanpur city, died on Sunday after they allegedly consumed liquor. Three of them died on the spot while another passed away on way to the Khanpur THQ Hospital.

Last week, Azam, Mureed Hussain, Ajmal, Anwar, Asif, Sajid, Rao, Naveed, Puppa, Aslam, Navid and Rafiq, residents of Nawakot, Bangla, Ghangla Zahirpir and Khanpur city, died after they allegedly took tainted liquor during the last week.

Sources said the business of locally made liquor was at its peak in these areas and police had failed to take action. They alleged when any person died after consuming liquor, police forcibly took the statement from deceased`s family that he had died due to head failure.

Some residents of Basti Jhulan also protested after the death of four relatives over the growing business of liquor in the area.

DPO office spokesperson Azhar Iqbal in his WhatsApp message said some people at Basti Jhulan were among notorious drug traffickers and they had died recently. He claimed that many deaths were wrongly being reported in this regard.

In neighbouring district Bahawalpur, four people died after taking tainted liqour mixed with sanitizer in Ahmadpur East on Sunday.

In this case, police claimed the two had died after consuming tainted liquor and the rest passed away with illness, though their families claimed that they had taken alcohol at a meeting on Sunday evening and died in their sleeps at their homes the same night.

Earlier, 11 people lost their lives in identical circumstances in Okara some 12 days ago.

Due to suspension of legally produced liquor mainly due to lockdown, sale of hooch is thriving in the grey market in Pakistan and India.

According to Indian media, illegal liquor has claimed more lives than coronavirus in some states.