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72 feared dead, dozens fall sick after consuming contaminated liquor in India

72 feared dead, dozens fall sick after consuming contaminated liquor in India

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.

At least 70 people have died and another 27 fallen sick from drinking cheap spurious liquor containing toxic methanol in several villages in northern India, officials and local media said on Saturday.

Eight more deaths were reported in another tragedy blamed on tainted liquor in Kushinagar district, also in Uttar Pradesh, regional official BD Gupta said.

The majority of the deaths were reported from the village of Balpur in Uttarakhand.

The district magistrate of Saharanpur district in Uttar Pradesh, Alok Kumar Pandey, said last week that doctors had concluded many victims died "due to liver infection and problems in their respiratory system". They seized hundreds of litres of tainted liquor in raids.




Police in both states have arrested 200 people involved in the illicit trade, many of them bootleggers.

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.

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

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.


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