The death toll in the killer hooch tragedy in Malvani area reached 41 on Friday. Following the incident, senior police inspector Prakash Patil and seven other police personnel were suspended for negligence and connivance, even as three people have been arrested in connection with the case.
The deaths have reportedly been caused because of consumption of spurious liquor.
At least 21 people are currently undergoing treatment following the tragedy, of which 10 are said to be in critical condition on ventilator support.
Mumbai Police Commissioner confirmed the suspensions adding that nine people were fighting for their lives after drinking the toxic home-made liquor.
Dhananjay Kulkarni, Mumbai police deputy commissioner, said the victims had started to fall ill on Wednesday morning after consuming the illicit moonshine.
“Thirty-three people have died and at least nine are in a critical condition after they consumed spurious liquor. The death toll may rise,” the commissioner said.
“Crime branch is investigating and three suspects are being held in custody,” Kulkarni said.
The three men, aged 30, 47, and 50, were arrested on Thursday night, he added.
Kulkarni said it was the worst case of its kind to be recorded in the western Indian city in more than a decade.
“Such a tragedy happened in 2004 when more than 100 deaths took place,” he explained, referring to the “Vikhroli hooch tragedy”, named by the local press after the suburb where the victims lived.
The victims of the latest incident were residents of a slum in the suburb of Malad West, in the north of the city.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has ordered a probe into the hooch tragedy, and asked the police to submit a report within two days. The case has been transferred to the Mumbai crime branch.
On Wednesday, the victims consumed liquor at a shop in Malvani and fell sick the next morning. It was evident by Thursday evening that they had consumed contaminated liquor.
Once the case was reported, Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria immediately handed it over to the Mumbai Crime Branch and by night, one person was arrested. This is the same person who sold the liquor but the source of the liquor is yet to be ascertained.