Toxic Alcohol Kills 99 In India

Deaths from illegally brewed alcohol are common in India because the poor cannot afford licensed brands

Deaths from illegally brewed alcohol are common in India because the poor cannot afford licensed brands

The first deaths in the latest incidents were reported Thursday.

72 people have been confirmed dead after consuming an illicit liquor in northern India, officials have said.

"The viscera examination on more bodies is yet to be conducted to find out if these too were alcohol-related deaths", an official said.

"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.

In the result of poisoning with counterfeit alcohol in Northern India have killed at least 99 people, dozens of people were hospitalized.

In a neighbouring district, a senior police officer said nine had died, adding that 66 suspected bootleggers had been arrested and samples of the liquor sent to a laboratory for testing. Some 79 000 litres of tainted liquor were also seized in raids.

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They said they would demand death penalty for those involved in the illicit trade once the case reaches court.

The local governments in both the states have announced a compensation of 2,806 USA dollars to the next of kin of each of those who died in the tragedy and 700 US dollars for those taken ill.

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.

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.

Uttarakhand government has suspended 13 employees of Excise Department including the Excise Inspector of Roorkee region after 70 people lost their lives following the consumption of spurious liquor in the state and Uttar Pradesh.

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