Over 100 People Die in India After Drinking Spurious Alcohol

11 February, 2019, 15:02 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Deaths from illegally brewed alcohol are common in India because the poor cannot afford licensed brands

The majority of the deaths were reported from the village of Balpur in Uttarakhand.

In one district of Uttar Pradesh 59 people had died after consuming toxic alcohol, police spokesperson Shailendra Kumar Sharma told AFP. Police officials said viscera examination on more bodies was yet to be conducted to find out if these too were alcohol-related deaths.

News of the deaths in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand has trickled in over the past three days, with police suspecting the moonshine had been cut with methanol.

In the adjoining Haridwar district, the death toll had risen to 28 from 12 on Friday, Indian broadcaster NDTV reported. About 24 people are admitted to the hospital. 509 quarters of country-made liquor and 91 litres raw liquor has been seized from them, said an official.

State authorities have ordered a probe into the tragedy, and many police officers and officials have been suspended on charges of negligence or collusion in connection with the illicit trade.

They said they would demand death penalty for those involved in the illicit trade once the case reaches court.

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Later on Saturday, authorities in both states announced a compensation of 200 000 rupees ($2 800) each to the relatives of those killed.

Producers often mix liquor with cheap chemicals to increase potency and profit.

Deaths from illegally-produced alcohol, known locally as "hooch" or "country liquor", are a regular occurrence in India, where many can not afford branded spirits.

Almost 1,000 people die in the country each year after consuming illegally brewed alcohol, the National Crime Records Bureau data show.

"As of now at the district hospital here 46 post-mortems were carried out and out of them in 36 cases the deaths have taken place clearly due to consumption of alcohol".

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