Friday, 19 April, 2019

India illegal alcohol toll mounts to 39

Bootleg alcohol laced with toxic methanol kills 39, leaves 27 ill in northern India India: more than three dozen die in bootleg liquor poisoning
Jeannette Daniel | 11 February, 2019, 15:02

Police said at least 31 people died in neighbouring Uttarakhand state and that two had been arrested on suspicion of supplying the liquor.

According to health officials almost two dozen people were still undergoing treatment inside hospital in these two districts and doctors fear the number of deaths could rise.

The death toll had stood at 72 on Saturday. "In the remaining 10 cases viscera report is still awaited".

Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh Police teams are carrying out joint operations along the UP-Uttarakhand border.

The action has been taken following instructions from Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. "We have detained many people and guilty would be dealt as per the law of land".

"The viscera examination on more bodies is yet to be conducted to find out if these too were alcohol-related deaths", an official said.

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Officials said the liquor was first consumed in neighboring Uttarakhand where villagers from Saharanpur attended a funeral, and was then smuggled back to Saharanpur district by a villager who then sold it to others.

A show cause notice has also been issued to the higher officials of the Enforcement Wing of Excise Department for dereliction of duty.

Uttar Pradesh government spokesman Awanish Awasthi said more than 3,000 people have been arrested in a drive against tainted liquor since February 9.

In December 2011, hooch tragedy killed 172 people in West Bengal.

More than 100 people died in two Indian states after drinking bootleg alcohol, police and media said on Monday, in the worst such case in years.

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