Death toll in India's hooch tragedy rises to 32

(Xinhua) 11:28, April 18, 2023

NEW DELHI, April 17 (Xinhua) -- The death toll in the toxic liquor consumption in the eastern Indian state of Bihar has risen to 32, the state-run broadcaster All India Radio said Monday.

"In Bihar, the death toll due to consuming spurious liquor mounted to 32," the broadcaster said. "The figure is likely to increase as the condition of 14 people is critical and they are undergoing treatment in different hospitals in Motihari and Muzaffarpur."

The deaths were first reported on Saturday in East Champaran (Motihari) district, about 151 km north of Patna, the capital city of Bihar.

The broadcaster quoted Kantesh Kumar Mishra, a senior police officer in Motihari, as saying that five station house officers and nine village watch and ward personnel of different police stations have been suspended.

Police have so far arrested 108 people in connection with the incident and seized over 6,000 liters of liquor during raids.

Meanwhile, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar Monday announced a compensation of 4,881 U.S. dollars to the families of the victims.

The recent deaths highlighted the sale of spurious liquor in an otherwise dry state, where the sale and consumption of liquor are strictly prohibited under law.

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

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Wu Chaolan)


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