At least three more people who consumed toxic liquor died on Wednesday, bringing the death toll to 10 in two days while unconfirmed reports said the fatalities stood at 13.
According to police officials, they all died after imbibing an excessive quantity of toxic liquor and an inquiry team, led by DSP Rizwan Wasti, has been formed to probe the incident while Tipu Sultan SHO Ghaus Alam was suspended over the incident and a departmental inquiry was ordered against him.
According to sources at the medico-legal office at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, three more people lost their lives on Wednesday. They included Malik Nazir, 25, son of Allah Ditta, Mohammad Saeed, 36, son of Elahi Buksh and Abdul Qadir, 38, son of Latif. Hospital sources said that they were brought to hospital in critical condition but died during treatment. Sources said that others who were brought to the hospital included Joseph Masih, 49, Ghulam Akbar, 45, Waheed Bux, Malik Nazir, 25 son of Allah Data, Abdul Qadir, 35 son of Latif, Shan, 25, Aslam, 32, Babu, 45, Jahangir, 25, Shahid, 44, Aslam, 40, Rashid, 32 and Maqsood, 30. Most of them left the hospital after treatment to avoid legal formalities.
Reports said that three more people had died. They belonged to the KMC Compound area in Frere area but none of the officials confirmed it. Reports say that the victims’ bodies were not taken to any hospital.
Sources in the police said that they have recovered 120 cartons of illicit liquor during the raids and have arrested a suspect. However, DSP Rizwan Wasti would not confirm any progress in the case. He said that families of victims were not cooperating with the police which is creating hurdles in the investigation. He said that the survivors who were admitted to the hospital for treatment were managed to escape shortly after the treatment that before the police reached the hospital for recording their statements.
Meanwhile, the police have registered the FIR No. 213/11 against dealers of liquor in the locality. The nominated suspects included Bashir alias Nanna, Mohammad Baloch, Irfan alias Jabal, Badshah and others. The raids for their arrests were continuing but none of the nominated suspects was arrested till filing of this news story.
Provincial Home Minister Manzoor Wassan taking a notice of the incident has also ordered investigation into the case. Wassan also ordered District East SSP Javed Odho to submit a detailed report about the incident and the elements responsible for the loss of lives. He directed police to initiate an extensive campaign against criminals as well as those responsible for running gambling dens and selling narcotics.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 20th, 2011.