Illegally brewed liquor kills at least 29 with dozens hospitalized in southern India

Illegally brewed liquor kills at least 29 with dozens hospitalized in southern India

20 Jun    AP, Finance News, PMN Business

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NEW DELHI (AP) — At least 29 people have died and dozens hospitalized after drinking illegally brewed liquor in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, officials told local media Thursday.

The incident occurred in the state’s Kallakurichi district, where more than 100 people are being treated in various hospitals, top district official M S Prasanth told the Press Trust of India news agency. He added that the number of those who are in critical condition keeps changing, suggesting that the death toll could rise.

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Ambulances, doctors and specialists from nearby areas have been deployed to the district.

The state’s chief minister M K Stalin said in a post on social media platform X that those involved in the crime have been arrested, and action has also been taken against officials who failed to prevent it. “Such crimes that ruin the society will be suppressed with an iron fist,” he added.

Deaths from illegally brewed alcohol are common in India, where the poor cannot afford licensed brands from government-run shops. The illicit liquor, which is often spiked with chemicals such as pesticides to increase potency, has also become a hugely profitable industry as bootleggers pay no taxes and sell enormous quantities of their product to the poor at a cheap rate.

In 2022, more than 30 people died in eastern India’s Bihar state after allegedly drinking tainted liquor sold without authorization. Earlier that same year, at least 28 died from drinking altered liquor in Gujarat state. And in 2020, at least 120 people died after drinking tainted liquor in India’s northern Punjab state.

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