Ujjain/Bhopal, Oct 15 (PTI) Eleven persons died in the last 24 hours after allegedly consuming suspected spurious liquor at Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh, police said on Thursday.
State Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan ordered a high-level probe into the incident.
A statement by the government said the victims died after allegedly consuming "denatured spirit".
"Eleven people, mostly beggars and poor labourers, died after drinking some poisonous liquid since Wednesdayin areas falling under three police stations- Kharakuwa, Jeevajiganj and Mahakal," Ujjain Additional Superintendent of Police Rupesh Dwivedi said.
"We are investigating what liquid they consumed and who sold it. We are carrying out raids," he said.
Following the incident, Superintendent of Police Manoj Kumar Singh has suspended Kharakuwa Inspector M S Meena, Sub Inspector Niranjan Sharma and two constables Nawaz Saeed and Sheikh Anwar, the ASP said.
Ujjain Chief Medical and Health Officer (CMHO) Mahaveer Khandelwal said, "Eleven people were brought to a local hospital in a critical condition. None of them survived for more than 15 minutes after being brought." Asked what the victims had consumed, he said, "It could be spurious liquor, spirit or some other chemical. It will be known when the viscera report comes in." Ujjain Collector Ashish Singh said an order has been issued to crack a whip against the people selling poisonous substances and to charge them under stringent National Security Act (NSA).
In the wake of the deaths in Ujjain, CM Chouhan called an urgent meeting of top officials at his residence in Bhopal on Thursday.
He asked the officials to take stern action against people selling poisonous substances, the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) said.
Such networks should be busted, he added.
Chouhan ordered a probe by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) Home (Rajesh Rajora) into the incident.
"If such a thing is being sold elsewhere, police should find it out and prosecute the offenders severely," Chouhan said.
He directed the ACS Home to submit the initial report.
"People selling poisonous substances are enemies of the society. They should be punished severely. Efforts should be made to send such people to gallows," he added.