Death toll from toxic liquor in India hits 31, over 100 ill

SHAFAQNA – A batch of home-brew liquor has killed at least 31 people in northern India, with more than 100 others ill in hospital, police said Tuesday, in the latest incident of alcohol poisoning in the country.

The figure jumped from Monday’s toll of 14 after more people died in hospital after drinking the toxic alcohol in a village on the outskirts of Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh state.

“Till now 25 deaths have been reported from Lucknow and six from Unnao (district),” police inspector general A. Satish Ganesh told the Press Trust of India news agency.

More than 100 people were still in hospitals suffering from alcohol poisoning after drinking the brew in Kharta village on Monday, the report said.

Ganesh said two people have been detained over the incident.

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav has also announced an investigation and launched a statewide drive against illegal liquor in the wake of the tragedy.

Bootleg liquor is widely consumed across India where it is sometimes sold for less than a dollar, with deaths often reported.

Police arrested 12 people in October 2013 after more than three dozen villagers died from toxic home-brewed liquor in Uttar Pradesh. In 2011 nearly 170 people died in the eastern state of West Bengal after drinking moonshine.

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