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Death toll from toxic liquor rises in India

At least 42 people killed and dozens treated in hospitals in Uttar Pradesh state after drinking tainted liquor.

Last Modified: 20 Oct 2013 08:18
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Deaths from drinking illegally brewed alcohol are common in India [AP]

Police say another 10 people have died in hospitals after drinking toxic bootleg liquor in northern India, raising the death toll to 42 in the past three days.

District Magistrate Neena Sharma said on Sunday that another 40 people are being treated in hospitals in Uttar Pradesh state.

Police have arrested 32 people for illegally brewing and selling the toxic drink to the villagers, who were celebrating the Hindu "Dussehra" festival in Azamgarh district last week, Sharma said.

Deaths from drinking illegally brewed alcohol are common in India because the poor cannot afford licenced liquor.

Illicit liquor is often spiked with chemicals such as pesticides to increase potency. 

Police said that the victims, mostly poor labourers, bought pouches of tainted alcohol on Thursday from a shop in Adampur village.

They started falling sick immediately after drinking the liquor and were taken to local hospitals. Some have gone blind because of the toxic brew.

Adampur is in Azamgarh district, about 300km southeast of Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh.

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