Toxic liquor death toll in India's northern state rises to 35

Toxic liquor death toll in India
# 02 June 2021 18:33 (UTC +04:00)

Health officials in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh said on Wednesday that 35 deaths in the post-mortem examination have been linked to the consumption of toxic liquor last week, APA reports citing Xinhua. 

"Post-mortem examinations on 87 bodies have been done and forensic reports of 35 bodies received so far have confirmed death due to consumption of toxic liquor," chief medical officer (CMO) of Aligarh Dr. Bhanu Pratap Kalyani said while other reports were still awaited.

According to officials, 29 people taken ill after consuming spurious liquor were still undergoing treatment at two hospitals in the district.

Last week many people complained of illness that subsequently led to deaths in Aligarh district, about 416 km northwest of Lucknow, the capital city of Uttar Pradesh.

Police investigations said the victims bought liquor from the licensed shops in the area. However, hours after consuming it they began to complain of vomiting and uneasiness.

The district authorities sent police teams to villages, urging people not to consume any liquor bought even a week back.

Meanwhile, authorities have sealed several liquor stores in the area in connection with the incident and suspended some senior officials from the excise department for negligence of duty.

Some unlicensed liquor factories have been demolished and over 30 people have been taken into custody on the suspicion of their involvement in supplying illicit liquor.

"Police teams have been formed to arrest the accused and they are carrying out the investigations to book the culprits," a senior police official said. "None involved in this criminal act will be spared."

The district magistrate Aligarh has given orders to CMO Aligarh to formulate a list of the people who have died due to the consumption of spurious liquor.

Meanwhile, the government is contemplating to provide monetary compensation to the bereaved families.

Last year, the spurious liquor consumption in the northern Indian state of Punjab claimed over 120 lives. In 2019, around 100 people died in a hooch tragedy in Uttar Pradesh and neighbouring Uttarakhand.

Spurious alcohol deaths are often reported in India, where people often drink cheap country-made bootleg liquor.