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Spurious liquor kills at least 90 people in India

11 February, 2019, 22:28 | Author: Lucille Rivera
  • Indian police gather around containers of bootleg alcohol in 2017

Senior police officer Ashok Kumar said 26 died in two separate incidents in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, while 13 others died in the neighbouring state of Uttarakhand.

The autopsies are not yet complete, Pandey said, and the death toll is likely to rise.

"We can't give you the exact death toll as post-mortems are awaited in many cases", a senior official in Uttar Pradesh told Xinhua. 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.

Eight more deaths were reported in another tragedy blamed on tainted liquor in Kushinagar, also in Uttar Pradesh.

"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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Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh governments have launched a major crackdown to nab those responsible for the distribution of illicit liquor in the states. Officials said several people have been detained for questioning.

Several officials associated with excise and police departments have been suspended.Police are conducting raids to tighten noose around illicit liquor vendors.

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.

Later Saturday, authorities in both states announced compensation of $2,800 each to the relatives of those killed. Illicit liquor is cheap and often spiked with chemicals such as pesticides to increase potency.

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