The death toll in the hooch tragedy in three districts of Punjab has risen to 65, government officials told The Hindu on Saturday.

At least 65 people have died over the past three days in three districts of Punjab, including 42 dead in Tarn Taran, 12 in Amritsar rural, and 11 in Gurdaspur’s Batala, allegedly after consumption of spurious liquor.

“So far 42 people have died in Tarn Taran,” said Tarn Taran Deputy Commissioner Kulwant Singh. Meanwhile, Gurdaspur Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Ishfaq said that 11 deaths, suspected to be on account of consumption of spurious liquor, have been reported in Batala city of the district.

“In Amritsar district, the total deaths have have reached 12 so far,” said Deputy Commissioner Gurpreet Singh Khaira.

The Police have arrested eight persons so far in the spurious liquor deaths case, and a huge quantity of spurious liquor, drums, storage cans, etc., have been recovered from the accused, which has been sent for chemical analysis to check for constituents of spurious liquor.

While Balwinder Kaur and Mithu were arrested from Amritsar rural district, two persons identified as Darshan Rani and Rajan were nabbed from Batala district on July 31. Four others, namely Kashmir Singh, Angrez Singh, Amarjit and Baljit, have been arrested from Tarn Taran. An FIR has been registered under Section 304/307/120 of Indian Penal Code in the matter.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the matter.

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