Dozens killed in India after consuming poisonous liquor

Dozens killed in India after consuming poisonous liquor”

Authorites fear the toll will rise as deaths linked to illicit liquor have been reported in other regions.

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

Saharanpur police said the liquor was first consumed in neighboring Uttarakhand where villagers from Saharanpur has gone to attend a funeral.

By late Saturday, the death toll was 37 in Western Uttar Pradesh's Saharanpur district, 11 from eastern UP's Kushinagar and 31 in Uttarkhand. He began receiving reports of the deaths on Thursday.

A woman is consoled after her husband's death from bootleg alcohol in Saharanpur, northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India February 11, 2019. Bootleggers have been known to add methanol, a toxic substance used in antifreeze, to such brews; it can also be present because of a mistake in the brewing process.

Police have arrested four people in connection with the deaths, Haridwar senior superintendent of police Janmaijai Prabhakar told Reuters.

The action has been taken following instructions from Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. He also announced compensation for relatives of the deceased and those undergoing treatment in hospitals.

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.

The current tragedy is considered the deadliest liquor poisoning in India since 2015 when toxic liquor claimed more than 100 lives in the financial hub of Mumbai. In the nearby area died nine people.

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