Assam Hooch tragedy: NHRC notice to state govt; asks Home Ministry to issue directions to states, UTs

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Published: February 25, 2019 10:57 PM

As many as 157 people, mostly tea garden workers, have so far died in Assam hooch tragedy and more than 300 others are still undergoing treatment.

The commission has issued notices to the chief secretary of Assam. (AP photo)

The National Human Rights Commission has sent a notice to Assam government over death of more than 150 people after consuming toxic liquor in Golaghat and Jorhat districts of Assam, officials said Monday.

The NHRC has also asked the Union Home Ministry to issue necessary directions to the director generals of police of all states and Union Territories to “enhance vigil” to check illicit liquor menace.

As many as 157 people, mostly tea garden workers, have so far died in Assam hooch tragedy and more than 300 others are still undergoing treatment in hospitals in the affected districts of Golaghat and Jorhat while 22 people have been arrested in connection with the incident, officials said on Monday.

“Reportedly, there are more than 300 people admitted for treatment in the hospitals. As per news report, the police authorities have expressed apprehension that
the methanol used in the hooch is the reason behind the deaths, but the exact cause of death will be known only after the examinations are conducted,” the rights panel said in a statement.

The commission has issued notices to the chief secretary of Assam, seeking a detailed report within four weeks including on action taken against officers or officials, relief and rehabilitation provided to the victims, and their dependents, along with status of the medical treatment being provided to those who are still fighting for their lives in the hospitals.

The NHRC said “it also expects from the Union Home Secretary to issue necessary directions to the director generals of police of all all states and Union Territories, calling upon them to look into the matter personally and issue relevant guidelines to enhance police patrolling and vigil in the affected areas of their states, and take strict legal action against the culprits”.

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