The death toll in the Assam hooch tragedy has crossed 100, with the latest estimates putting the number at 117 dead and above 130 others still hospitalized. Many of them are on ventilator support as per reports, and the death toll is expected to climb in the next few hours.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each to the kin of those who died after consuming spurious liquor and Rs 50,000 each to those who are undergoing treatment.
The Assam government has ordered investigations into two separate incidents in Golaghat and Jorhat districts. While terming the incidents as unfortunate, Sonowal had ordered an inquiry into the tragedy on February 22nd, 2019 and directed Upper Assam Division Commissioner Julie Sonowal to enquire into the matter.
A four-member inquiry team headed by Additional Commissioner of the Excise Department, Sanjib Medhi, will submit its report within three days.
Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma informed that the Director of Medical Education Anup Barman will supervise the patients’ treatment. The doctors from Assam Medical College Hospital in Dibrugarh district and Tezpur Medical College in Sonitpur district were rushed to Jorhat and Golaghat to assist in the treatment of the affected people.
According to the police, instead of ethyl alcohol, poisonous methyl alcohol — which is commonly available — was used in the liquor. Two excise officials of Salmara area – Deputy inspector Porag Saikia and constable Guluk Hazarika – have been placed under suspension for the negligence of duty.