Aug. 1 (UPI) — Officials say at least 86 people have died this week after drinking illegally-made alcohol in the northern Indian state of Punjab.
Police carried out more than 100 raids Saturday to confiscate supplies of the suspected tainted liquor. They made 25 arrests.
Punjab’s Chief Minister Amarinder Singh ordered an inquiry into the deaths Friday. He also announced families of the deceased would receive compensation equivalent to $ 2,669 U.S. dollars.
The Times of India also reports that Amarinder has ordered the suspension of seven excise officials and six Punjab police officers, and an inquiry against them in connection with what it calls the “hooch tragedy.”
“Strict action will be taken against any public servant or others found complicit in the case,” Amarinder said.
Bootleg alcohol from street distilleries, which is much cheaper than branded liquor but also often contains dangerous ingredients like methanol, kills hundreds of people in India each year.
In February 2019, for example, a bad batch of liquor killed 85 people in India and sickened hundreds of others.
And on Friday 10 people in the village of Kurichedu, likely suffering from alcohol addiction, died after drinking hand sanitizer. Liquor stores are closed in the area.