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At least 35 people died after consuming spurious liquor in Upper Assam’s Golaghat and Jorhat district on February 22nd, 2019 (Friday). A total of 22 tea garden workers in Salmara Tea Estate in Golaghat district, six in Merapani and seven in Titabor in Jorhat district died as of now. The death toll may rise, sources said.
Meanwhile, the state government has ordered a probe into the hooch tragedy calling it ‘painful’. “It is an extremely painful incident,” Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said.

The Excise Department has set up a one-person enquiry committee headed by Julie Sonowal to investigate the incident and asked to submit the report within 30 days from the date of the issue of the order.

The tea workers fell sick after they consumed country made liquor on the night of February 21st, 2019 and on Friday morning they were admitted to the Swahid Kushal Konwar Civil Hospital and few were referred to Jorhat Medical College and Hospital.

The illicit alcohol was bought by the workers at the Halmira Tea Estate from Dhrupadi. Her son Sanju Orang also died due to alcohol poisoning. Sanju had bought the country made liquor (known locally as sulai) in a jerrycan, police said. Police informed that the sample of the liquor has been sent for a forensic investigation. “The jerry can in which the alcohol was stored may have been contaminated,” the police officer added.

According to sources, police have arrested the owners of the illegal country-made liquor factory – Indukalpa Bordoloi and Deba Bora. “We have already arrested two, and are looking for more accused,” Deputy Superintendent of Police Partha Pratim Saikia said.

On the other hand, two excise officials of Salmara area have been suspended.