Indian police crackdown on illegal liquor suppliers after 86 die

Indian police crackdown on illegal liquor suppliers after 86 die

Indian police crackdown on illegal liquor suppliers after 86 die

Hundreds of people die every year in India from poisoned alcohol made in backstreet distilleries.

Gupta said those arrested used to supply the tainted alcohol to roadside eateries from where it was sold to travellers and the villagers.

"After I drank it, I was not able to see properly and felt uneasiness", Tilak Raj told the Times of India.

Police Officer Roshan Lal said Saturday that 69 people died, though local media reports put the number at 86.

A total of 86 people have lost their lives in the hooch tragedy, which started on Wednesday across three districts of Punjab.

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The CM said despite the cases of targeted killings in Punjab being handed over the CBI, it was eventually the Punjab Police that had solved the same.

Earlier in the day, Delhi CM Kejriwal took to Twitter and expressed that he is saddened by the loss of lives in Punjab due to illicit liquor, adding that the State government needs to immediately take necessary steps to curb such mafias.

"We have conducted raids at more than 30 places today and we have detained six more persons", Dhruman H. Nimbale, a senior police officer in Punjab's Tarn Taran district, told Reuters.

Police have arrested 25 people so far over the worsening tragedy, which starting coming to light late last week, the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency said.

More than 80 people have died in recent days after drinking toxic bootleg alcohol in the Indian state of Punjab, officials and reports said Saturday.

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Moreover, 13 officials from the police and excise and taxation departments had been suspended for negligence while investigations are on to ascertain their complicity in the case, he said.

Deaths from illegally produced alcohol, which is much cheaper than branded spirits, are common in parts of rural India.

In 2019, at least 133 people died after drinking tainted liquor in two separate incidents in India's northeast Assam state.

Bootleg alcohol from street distilleries, which is much cheaper than branded liquor but also often contains unsafe ingredients like methanol, kills hundreds of people in India each year.

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