BJP leader Rishi Sharma, accused in Aligarh hooch tragedy that killed over 100, arrested

Nearly 50 people have died in Aligarh since consuming spurious liquor on two different occasions recently, according to police, while officials estimated that the death toll could go up to 100 as autopsy reports of another 50 hooch consumers were awaited.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Rishi Sharma, the key accused of the Aligarh hooch tragedy who was carrying a reward of 1 lakh, was arrested by the police near Bulandshahar border on Sunday morning, officials said. Sharma was absconding for about 10 days after the tragedy which claimed more than 100 lives.

“Police raids were being conducted in Uttrakhand, Rajasthan, Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh for the past 10 days. Police had monitored 500 call details, about 100 informers were activated and six police teams were constituted to nab Rishi Sharma,” Aligarh’s senior superintendent of police (SSP) Kalanidhi Naithani said on Sunday.

“We have already arrested Vipin Yadav, carrying a reward of 50,000, Anil Chaudhary and his brother-in-law Neeraj Chaudhary, carrying a reward of 25,000, Munish Sharma (Rishi Sharma’s brother), carrying a reward of 25,000 and one Shiv Kumar,” he added.

As many as 17 cases have been registered in various police stations of Aligarh and 61 people have been arrested, Naithani said, adding that property worth 5 crore, belonging to this syndicate, has been demolished by the Aligarh administration and more properties worth 100 crore have also been identified for further action.

After the liquor in question was taken off the market following authorities’ announcement that it was adulterated, reports of more than 100 people from across Aligarh losing their lives due to it have surfaced. The spurious liquor was allegedly dumped in canals and remote places by those possessing it after police began raids.

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