Barabanki (UP): At least 12 people died and around 40 others were taken ill after consuming spurious liquor in Uttar Pradesh’s Barabanki district, officials said on Tuesday. The incident prompted the Adityanath government to order a high-level probe to look into all angles, including the possibility of a political conspiracy. Four members of a family are said to be among those who died in the incident that took place on Monday night. Heads rolled after the incident with authorities suspending 10 excise and two police officials. Also Read – Dussehra with a ‘green’ twist Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh for each of the deceased and ordered a high-level probe to look into all angles, including political conspiracy and submit a report within 48 hours, UP government spokesperson and cabinet minister Siddhart Nath Singh said. Locals belonging to Raniganj and adjoining villages consumed liquor purchased from a shop in Ramnagar area on Monday night and were rushed to Ramnagar Community Health Centre (CHC) after they were taken ill early Tuesday morning, police said. Also Read – India receives its first Rafale fighter jet from France At least 16 of those taken ill have been referred to the King George Medical University Hospital in Lucknow where they were undergoing dialysis while 5-6 others were being brought to Balrampur and Ram Manohar Lohia hospitals in Lucknow, Singh said. He said directives have been issued to ensure all possible medical facilities to those undergoing treatment in hospitals. UP Excise Minister Jai Pratap Singh said the excise commissioner, joint and deputy commissioners have rushed to the spot and further information was awaited. District Excise Officer, Barabanki, Shiv Narayan Dube, Excise Inspector Ramtirath Maurya, three head constables and five constables of the excise department have been suspended with immediate effect, the excise minister said. Police Circle Officer Pawan Gautam and Station House Officer Rajesh Kumar Singh have also been suspended on charges of dereliction of duty. The chief minister has taken serious note of the incident and directed senior officials to take stern action against all those found guilty, a senior government official said. The chief minister has set up a high-level committee comprising Commissioner and IG (Ayodhya) and Excise Commissioner to probe into the incident to fix responsibility and identify lax employees. The committee will also look into any political conspiracy angle into the Barabanki incident as had been seen in some incidents of similar nature in the past, Singh said. After a major hooch tragedy in two adjoining districts in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh earlier this year that claimed around 100 lives, Adityanath had suggested the involvement of the Samajwadi Party in “such mischievous acts” and had warned of stern action against all those found involved in illicit liquor trade even if they were associated with any political party. “In the past too, such types of mischievous acts by SP leaders had come to the fore. In Azamgarh, Hardoi, Kanpur and Barabanki, SP leaders were found to be involved in past hooch tragedies. We can’t deny conspiracy this time too,” Adityanath had told reporters in the aftermath of the tragedy in Saharanpur in February.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Domino’s Pizza said aggressive discounting by third-party delivery services like DoorDash is hurting its U.S. sales — and shows no sign of letting up.U.S. sales at stores open at least a year rose 3% in the second quarter. That was below analysts’ forecast of 4.5%, according to FactSet. It was the third straight quarter that U.S. same-store sales have fallen short of expectations, Domino’s CEO Ritch Allison said.Domino’s has its own drivers and doesn’t work with delivery services like UberEats and GrubHub, which are racing to sign up customers with referral bonuses and other deals.“We expect that behaviour to continue for some period of time,” Allison said during a conference call with analysts. “While the economics of the business are still open to question for the long term, the near-term activity indicates investors are willing to lose a lot of money in the short term to drive market share.”Domino’s shares fell 7% to $251.16 in midday trading Tuesday.Allison said Domino’s is fighting back by opening more stores, which ensures faster delivery times and increases global market share. The company opened 158 net new stores internationally during the quarter and 42 net new stores in the U.S. Global retail sales were up 5% thanks to the rapid pace of store openings.Some franchisees also raised food prices and delivery fees during the quarter to combat lower customer traffic and higher wages, Allison said. Domino’s also is investing in technology to improve service, including a real-time GPS delivery tracker for customers and a test of autonomous delivery in Houston.Revenue rose 4% to $811.6 million in the April-June period, which missed Wall Street forecasts. Six analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $833.2 million.The Ann Arbor, Michigan-based pizza chain said net income was up 19% and earnings per share rose to $2.19 per share, surpassing analysts’ forecast of $2.Allison thinks the pressure from delivery services will ease somewhat in the future, as some companies drop out of the market and discounts become less frequent.“The 100th coupon that you get is probably less effective than the 2nd,” he said. “We don’t know what the ultimate demand will be, once the customer has to pay a price for the service that exceeds the service.”_____Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on DPZ at https://www.zacks.com/ap/DPZThe Associated Press