At least 28 killed, dozens sick after drinking spiked liquor in India

death of india liquor
A man who fell ill after consuming spiked liquor is brought for treatment to a hospital in Ahmedabad, India, on July 26, 2022.

Ajit Solanki / AP

Ahmedabad, India – At least 28 people have died and 60 others have become ill after consuming denatured alcohol in western India, officials said on Tuesday.

Senior government official Mukesh Parmar said the deaths occurred in Ahmedabad and Botad districts of Gujarat state, where the manufacture, sale and consumption of liquor is prohibited. It was not immediately known what chemical was used to replace the alcohol.

Gujarat state police chief Ashish Gupta said several suspected bootleggers involved in selling spiked liquor have been detained.

Deaths from illicitly drunk alcohol are common in India, where illicit alcohol is cheap and is often mixed with chemicals such as pesticides to increase potency.

Illegal liquor has also become a hugely profitable industry across India, where bootleggers pay no tax and sell large quantities of their produce to the poor at cheap rates.

In 2020, at least 120 people died from drinking tainted alcohol in India’s northern Punjab state.

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