Toxic liquor kills 31 in India

NEW DELHI - The death toll in the spurious toxic liquor tragedy in India's Uttar Pradesh state has reached 31 Tuesday, according to police. 

More than 100 people have been hospitalized and many have lost their eyesight.

"A total of 31 people have died as of today. There was a gathering after a cricket match on the evening of Jan. 11 and the people decided to celebrate, they bought liquor from an illegal shop and consumed it. Since yesterday morning, they started getting nausea and vomiting and were hospitalized," said A. Satish Ganesh, Inspector General of Police of Lucknow district on Tuesday. 

"The main accused Jugnu and his associate Gatru have been arrested and 74 pouches of the spurious liquor have been seized and sent for forensic analysis," added Ganesh. 

The 31 deaths include 25 in the state capital Lucknow and six in the adjoining Unnao district.

Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh Yadav chaired a high-level emergency meeting on Monday night and ordered the suspension of 16 officials had been suspended over the incident.

He also directed officials to launch a massive campaign against the sale and manufacturing of such spurious liquor across the state. 

An overdose of methyl alcohol (which is used for various industrial purposes), results in blindness, convulsions, nausea, low blood pressure, seizures, and also death.

Country liquor has been adulterated with methylated spirit in India and caused many incidents of large scale deaths.

In December 2011, 169 people had died after consuming spurious liquor in West Bengal.

In October 2013, in Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh, at least 42 people died after consuming toxic alcohol.

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