72 die from tainted liquor in India

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Roorkee (Uttarakhand) [India], Feb 10 (ANI): Death toll due to consumption of illicit liquor in Roorkee touched 32 on Saturday.

Eight more deaths were reported in another tragedy blamed on tainted liquor in Kushinagar district, also in Uttar Pradesh, regional official BD Gupta told the dpa news agency.

Mr Kumar said victims consumed liquor during two customary functions on Thursday night, adding that the post-mortem and initial forensic reports suggested that the brew was laced with methanol.

"Total casualties in Haridwar remain at 36 and right now around 18 people are undergoing treatment", he said.

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Newspaper reports said around 3,000 people linked with the illegal trade were arrested across Uttar Pradesh in the aftermath of the tragedy.

News of the deaths in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand has trickled in over the past three days, with police suspecting the moonshine had been cut with methanol.

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has ordered strict action in the matter.

A show cause notice has also been issued to the higher officials of the Enforcement Wing of Excise Department for dereliction of duty.

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According to health officials around 150 others were being treated for severe side effects from the hooch in the twin states.

Uttar Pradesh government spokesman Awanish Awasthi said more than 3,000 people have been arrested in a drive against tainted liquor since February 9.

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

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