At least thirty five people died in various hospitals in the state of Odisha in the past three days..
THE TOLL may increase further as nearly as 40 were in critical condition. According to officials, people from several areas had gone to Tukulipada village in Cuttack district to buy the drink on Monday night. A source close to the high police officials confirmed the deaths were not a hooch tragedy or spurious liquor deaths. It was due to consumption of EPPECARM and Orange tincture B.P. of made by the Eastern India
Bhubaneswar Excise Commissioner Sudarsana Naik said the medicines used in the brew contained a high percentage of alcohol. The victims drank liquor in Cuttack district have been affected by the killer drink the Cuttack District Collector said. The collector also confirmed that the people died after consuming spurious medicines and not liquor, and a large number of cough syrup bottles were seized from various medical stores at Cuttack and Bhubaneswar. Dismissing the Collector’s argument, the drug controller of Odisha A.P. Das said no human being ever dies if he/she drinks concentrated sinaman water-B.P., which is sold under different brand, reported NDTV.
The police conducted a day long raids at Eastern Pharmaceutical Labs in Rasulgarh industrial area and arrested its owner in connection with the alleged sale of EPEECARM syrup in open market. EPEECARM syrup is priced at just Rs.10/- for 200 ml. which has a high alcoholic concentration of 43% and is in much demand among the labourers. Earlier, the Excise Personals sealed four Pharma unites including Chilika Pharmaceuticals Laboratories, Manqueen Pharma and ABC Pharmaceuticals which were manufacturing EPEECARM, Ginger and Surabhi brand of syrups in the city. The Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik
on Wednesday ordered a judicial probe in to the large number of deaths.
The probe will be conducted by a retired justice of the High Court. The liquor deaths have become regular after the 1991 Cuttack hooch tragedy in which 200 people died, another liquor tragedy was reported from Ganjam and Khurdha Districts way back 2006. It claimed 33 lives forcing the Excise Minister to resign. It is also common in the state of Odisha to keep the liquor shops open round the clock in bookstands and on road sides to facilitate the drivers, passengers and students for consumption of liquor.