More than 100 dead after drinking bootleg alcohol in India

Bootleg alcohol laced with toxic methanol kills 39, leaves 27 ill in northern India

NEW DELHI, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) - As death toll mounts in two northern Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, police have launched a massive crackdown on the illegal dens of spurious liquor manufacturing places, officials said Sunday.

In the adjoining Haridwar district, the death toll had risen to 28, from 12 on Friday, broadcaster NDTV reported.

Officials says dozens more people are in hospitals recovering from the toxic brew.

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. Officials said several people have been detained for questioning. "We have detained many people and guilty would be dealt as per the law of land".

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. They have seized hundreds of liters of so-called country-made liquor.

"The entire matter is being investigated and guilty would not be spared", an excise department official said.

The Saharanpur police, who are working on the assumption that the alcohol may have come from the same source, arrested 30 people, many of them bootleggers.

In December 2011, hooch tragedy killed 172 people in West Bengal.

Toxic alcohol has claimed almost 100 lives in northern India, with dozens still hospitalised, while more than 200 people are being held in a police crackdown, officials said on Sunday (Feb 10).

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