NEW DELHI - The death toll in a case of suspected toxic liquor consumption in India’s eastern state of Bihar has risen to eight, All India Radio (AIR) said on Tuesday.
“In Bihar, eight people died and six lost their eyesight after consuming spurious liquor,” the state-run broadcaster said.
The deaths were first reported on Sunday night in Lakri Nabiganj of Siwan district, about 107km north-west of Patna, the capital city of Bihar.
According to AIR, the casualties were likely to increase, as the condition of 14 people was said to be critical.
“Three people have been sent to Gorakhpur and 11 to Patna Medical College hospital for treatment,” AIR said.
The broadcaster quoted Bihar Additional Director-General of Police J.S. Gangwar as saying that the spurious liquor was made from spirit brought from Kolkata under the pretence of making sanitiser.
Additional DGP Gangwar told the broadcaster that 16 people have been arrested so far in connection with the sale of illicit spurious liquor.
Meanwhile, two police station house officers have been suspended over the matter.
Last month, over 90 people were killed and many others hospitalised following the consumption of tainted bootleg liquor in the state.
A majority of the deaths were reported from Saran district, which is adjacent to Siwan.
The deaths highlighted the sale of bootleg liquor in an otherwise dry state, where the sale and consumption of liquor are strictly prohibited under law.
The sale and consumption of liquor was prohibited in Bihar state in 2016.
The ban was imposed after women’s groups campaigned against poor workers squandering their meagre earnings on alcohol consumption.
Despite the prohibition, deaths due to the consumption of illicit liquor in the state, as well as others in India, are often reported. XINHUA