NEW DELHI, Aug 1, 2020 (BSS/AFP) – More than 60 people have died
after drinking toxic bootleg alcohol in the Indian state of Punjab,
officials and reports said.
The victims died in three districts of the northern state and
police have arrested 10 people, the officials said.
Hundreds of people die every year in India from poisoned alcohol
made in backstreet distilleries which sells for as little as 10 rupees
(13 US cents) a litre.
An official told AFP that 11 people had died in Gurdaspur district.
Press Trust of India news agency and other media said Saturday the
illicit booze had claimed 53 lives in neighbouring Amritsar and Tarn
Other deaths were suspected in recent days but could not be proved
as the bodies had been cremated without a post-mortem examination.
Punjab state chief minister Amarinder Singh said Friday he had
ordered a special inquiry into the deaths and “anyone found guilty
will not be spared”.
The Indian Express newspaper said one of the suspects had died in
Amritsar district after consuming the illegal liquor and that his wife
had been arrested for selling the alcohol.
The case came after authorities in the southern state of Andhra
Pradesh said on Friday that nine people had died after drinking
The victims drank the sanitiser as a substitute for alcohol which
has been restricted during a coronavirus lockdown in India.