Kolkata: As an aftermath of the worst-ever hooch tragedy in West Bengal that has claimed 173 lives so far, action has been taken against the Officer-in-Charge of Usti police station and four other policemen.

When the arrests and process of seizure started, at first instance the Excise Officer of the Diamond Harbour region was removed from his office, and now OC of Usti police station Debabrata Sen and an ASI along with three constables of Sangrampur police outpost have been removed from their posts and sent to the police headquarters, said Superintendent of Police, South 24-Parganas district, LN Meena.

Circle Inspector of Mograhat, Somdeb Banerjee, has been given the additional charge of the Officer-in-Charge of Usti police station, Meena said.

The Hooch tragedy occurred in Usti police station area.

Since Wednesday, 370 patients have been hospitalised after they consumed spurious liquor from the illicit liquor dens in Sangrampur and its vicinity.

“Usually 72 hours is a sufficient time for alcohol to come out of the system. We have 30 patients at the hospital. Though most of them are stable, some are complaining of loss of vision,” said K K Banik, Superintendent of M R Bangur Hospital, where 78 patients were referred from the sub-divisional hospital.

Meanwhile, Left Front Committee Chairman Biman Bose alleged that the government initially neglected treatment of the hooch victims, which worsened the situation.

The police have so far arrested 20 people and raids are continuing in the different parts of the district to nab the accused persons.