Sunday, 17 February, 2019

39 die, dozens sick in India from drinking spurious liquor - International

Indian police gather around containers of bootleg alcohol in 2017 Modal Trigger Indian police gather around containers of bootleg alcohol in 2017. AFP Getty Images
Kenny Thornton | 11 February, 2019, 15:02

But the current death toll is believed to be the deadliest outbreak since a similar case killed 172 in West Bengal in 2011.

Officials says dozens more people are in hospitals recovering from the toxic brew. Police officials said viscera examination on more bodies was yet to be conducted to find out if these too were alcohol-related deaths.

The deaths occurred in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The villagers drank the tainted liquor Thursday. The death toll had stood at 28 on Friday.

Twenty-two people were admitted to hospitals in Saharanpur but were in stable condition, Pandey said.

Police in both states have arrested 200 people involved in the illicit trade, many of them bootleggers. 509 quarters of country-made liquor and 91 litres raw liquor has been seized from them, said an official.

New Zealand survive tight close to claim India T20 series 2-1
Post Shankar, Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya have blast innings with 28 (12) and 21 (11) runs respectively. It took a lightning fast stumping by MS Dhoni off the bowling of Kuldeep Yadav to break the partnership.

Authorities in the region also suspended over 30 officials, including 10 policemen, on charges of negligence or collusion in the illicit trade.

The local governments in both the states have announced a compensation of 2,806 US dollars to the next of kin of each of those who died in the tragedy and 700 USA dollars for those taken ill. Illicit liquor is cheap and often spiked with chemicals such as pesticides to increase potency.

An average of 1000 people, mostly from poorer sections of society, die in India each year after consuming illegally-brewed alcohol, according to National Crime Records Bureau. Deaths as a result of consuming such alcohol are in the headlines regularly.

In 2015, more than 100 people died in a Mumbai slum after drinking illegal moonshine.

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