New Delhi: Odisha Excise Minister AU Singhdeo on Thursday resigned over hooch tragedy in Cuttack on moral grounds.
The death toll has risen to 32 in number and as many as 67 people had fallen sick after consumption of a dubious medicinal concoction, which police claim was high in alcohol content and cheaply available at chemist stores.
The pharmaceutical laboratory that supplied the medicines has been sealed.
Meanwhile, several other victims are battling for survival in the SCB Medical College and Hospital.
According to sources, the victims consumed liquor from a joint in Mahidharpada area of Cuttack on Monday evening.
District collector Girish SN refused to term it a case of hooch tragedy saying the people died after consuming spurious medicines and not liquor and many cough syrup bottles were seized from the liquor joint.
Dismissing collector's views Drug Controller AP Das said, "No human being will die if he or she drinks concentrated Sinaman Water-BP, which is sold under different brands."
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik ordered a judicial inquiry into the incident and a retired judge of the high court would conduct the probe, Chief Secretary BK Patnaik said.
The chief minister said those affected by the hooch disaster would be provided free treatment.