Uttarakhand: Death toll due to consumption of illicit liquor rises to 32

Uttarakhand: Death toll due to consumption of illicit liquor rises to 32

Toxic alcohol has claimed almost 100 lives in northern India, with dozens still hospitalised, while more than 200 people are being held in a police crackdown, officials said on Sunday (Feb 10).

Meanwhile, as many as 46 people lost their lives in Saharanpur and 10 in Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh after consuming illicit liquor.

Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh governments have launched a major crackdown to nab those responsible for the distribution of illicit liquor in the states.

"He complained of severe stomach ache, so I took him to get an injection", the wife of one victim, Hira Lal, told Reuters partner ANI.

If ingested in large quantities, methanol can cause blindness, liver damage and death.

The liquor is usually made with poor-quality ingredients, and sometimes mixed with industrial alcohol and toxic substances to increase potency.

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Senior police officer Ashok Kumar said 26 died in two separate incidents in the state of Uttar Pradesh, 306 km east of capital New Delhi, while 13 others died in the neighboring state of Uttarakhand.

We are trying to find out if anyone else has consumed the (spurious) liquor.

"This is preliminary stage of investigation and people are being brought for questioning but it will be decided later as to against whom the cases will be registered", a senior police official said.

Domestic media reported that more than 3 000 people involved in the illegal trade were arrested in Uttar Pradesh over the past three days.

It is noted that in 2015, more than a hundred people died in the Indian city of Mumbai after consumption of illegal moonshine.

Because lower-income Indians are unable to afford legal alcohol in rural areas, they purchase alcohol that is brewed improperly and turns poisonous, the Hindustan Times reported.

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