The deaths due to alleged consumption of illicit liquor in a village rose to seven on Monday, while eight people were undergoing treatment at a hospital in Allahabad, where the condition of two was critical.
Following the incident, nine officials, including a sub-divisional magistrate and a circle officer, have been suspended and four people arrested.
“On Monday, Chunna (45) of Bhadedu village and Jainarayan (45) of Devari village, who were undergoing treatment at Swaroop Rani Nehru Hospital in Allahabad, died taking the number of dead to seven.
“Eight villagers from Khopa, Bhadedu and Devari are undergoing treatment in Allahabad,” senior police official Shailendra Kumar Rai said.
He added that Sitaram (60) died on Saturday, Munna Singh (40) on Sunday morning at Rajapur, Satyam (22) and Durvijay Singh (32) in Kaushambi on way to Allahabad for treatment, and Babli Singh (38) died during treatment in Prayagraj, late on Sunday night.
Mr Rai said SHO of Rajapur police station Anil Kumar Singh has been suspended. With this and the number of personnel suspended has risen to nine, he said.
“A case of murder has been registered against seven persons, of which four have been arrested. Those arrested include owner of liquor outlet in Bardwara Ramprakash Yadav and grocery shop owner in Khopa village Trilok Singh. Both the shops have been sealed,” he said.
A spokesperson of Uttar Pradesh Government in Lucknow said that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has taken serious cognizance of the incident.
Late on Sunday evening, he ordered suspension of SDM of Rajapur Rahul Kashyap, circle officer Ramprakash, district excise officer Chatar Sen and excise inspector Ashraf Ali Siddiqui, the spokesperson said.
Senior police official, Chitrakoot Dham (Range), K Satya Narayan said sub-inspector Brijesh Pandey, constable Bhupendra Singh, another constable and Lekhpal Rajesh Kumar have been suspended.
Village watchman Sunil Kumar has been dismissed from service, he said, adding former gram pradhan Manohar and Vivek are undergoing treatment at a hospital.
“Whether the liquor was spurious or not, will be known following a probe. No guilty person will be spared,” the Satya Narayan said.
Satya Narayan had on Sunday said that upon preliminary inquiry, it has come to light that the victims consumed country-made liquor on Saturday, after which they fell sick.
There is no liquor sale outlet in the village, and the booze was brought from a shop located almost 15 kilometres away, the IG had said.