At least 12 people have died and seven others have fallen seriously ill after consuming suspected spurious liquor in Madhya Pradesh's Morena district, the second such incident in the State within the last three months.
As per preliminary reports, some residents of Manpur and Pahawali villages in Morena district consumed a white coloured liquor on Monday night, a senior police officer said.
This was the second such incident in Madhya Pradesh in the last three months. In October last year, 14 people died after drinking spurious liquor in Ujjain.
"12 persons died and seven others seriously fell ill after drinking suspected spurious liquor [in Morena district]," Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Rajesh Hingankar said.
He said a case has been registered under section 304 (Culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the andhar bahar gamen Penal Code (IPC) and sections 34 and 91 of the Excise Act.
Few persons were also rounded up for investigation in the case, the DIG said.
The senior police officer from Morena said ten people from Manpur and Pahawali villages died on Monday night after consuming suspected spurious liquor, and another person died later.
He said those who fell seriously ill were admitted in Gwalior for treatment.
The postmortem report is awaited to know whether the liquor was poisonous or not, he added.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has termed the incident "tragic" and ordered suspension of Morena district excise officer for negligence.
He said "drastic" action will be taken against the guilty.
"The Morena incident is very unfortunate and tragic. The investigation of the case is going on. The District Excise Officer has been suspended for prima facie negligence.
"As soon as the remaining facts of the investigation will come out, whoever is found guilty will not be spared. We will take drastic action," Mr. Chouhan said in a tweet.
State Home Minister Narottam Mishra said a police official has been suspended following the incident.
"The incident of deaths caused by drinking poisonous liquor in Morena is very sad and painful. The in-charge of the police station concerned has been suspended. A separate team is also being sent for investigation," Mr. Mishra said in a tweet.
Those responsible for the incident will not be spared, he added.
State Congress chief Kamal Nath hit out at the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government over the incident.
"Liquor mafia continues to wreak havoc, after killing 16 in Ujjain, now they have killed about 10 people in Morena.
"Shivraj ji, how long will the liquor mafia keep killing people like this? The government should provide proper treatment to the sick and help the affected families in every way possible," Mr. Nath said in a tweet.
He alleged that the chief minister has been making false claims about action against the mafias.