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India: 34 people dead from toxic alcohol consumption

India: 34 people dead from toxic alcohol consumption

India: 34 people dead from toxic alcohol consumption

India: 34 people dead from toxic alcohol consumption

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  • At least 34 people died in Kallakuruchi district, Tamil Nadu, after consuming bootleg alcohol.
  • Hospitals are treating 80 people for illnesses like excessive diarrhea, with officials warning the death toll could rise.
  • Two people have been arrested, and a wider investigation is underway.
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Toxic bootleg alcohol claimed the lives of at least 34 people in Tamil Nadu, India, officials reported. The incident occurred in Kallakuruchi district, where numerous residents fell ill after consuming the liquor on Tuesday night.

Hospitals are treating at least 80 people for illnesses like excessive diarrhea, and officials warn that the death toll could rise further. Authorities have arrested two people so far, and a wider investigation is underway.

Authorities have also suspended a senior police official and ten members of the state’s prohibition enforcement wing for negligence in overseeing the smuggling of illicit alcohol. Each year, dozens of people in India die after drinking bootleg alcohol from backstreet distilleries.

Bootleggers often add methanol, a highly toxic form of alcohol sometimes used as antifreeze, to their mixtures to increase strength. Even in small quantities, methanol can cause blindness, liver damage, and death. In Kallakuruchi, the accused allegedly sold the concoction in packets through a local vendor, according to The News Minute website.

Those who consumed the alcohol experienced symptoms like dizziness, headaches, vomiting, nausea, stomach pain, and eye irritation, leading them to be taken to the hospital. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin announced a compensation of 1 million rupees ($12,000; £9,425) for the families of those who died and 50,000 rupees for those who are hospitalized.

He wrote on X (formerly Twitter), “Authorities have arrested those involved in the crime. Action has also been taken against the officials who failed to prevent it.” However, opposition parties have criticized the government for failing to curb toxic alcohol in the state.

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The state chief of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), stated, “Illicit liquor deaths under the DMK [Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam] regime in the past two years have set Tamil Nadu back four decades, taking us back to the 1980s.” He demanded the immediate resignation of the minister in charge of overseeing the sale of alcohol.

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