Spurious liquor kills at least 6, sickens many in Indian state of Uttar Pradesh

NEW DELHI (XINHUA) - At least six people have died and many others have taken ill after consuming spurious liquor in India's northern state of Uttar Pradesh, police said on Tuesday (May 28).

The incident took place in the Ramnagar area of Barabanki district, about 58km east of Lucknow, the capital city of Uttar Pradesh.

"So far, we have received information about the death of six people due to the consumption of spurious liquor and many others have been admitted to hospitals," a senior police official posted in Ramnagar police station told Xinhua.

Local media reports, however, put the death toll around 12.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath expressed his deepest condolences over the deaths in Barabanki and directed officials to immediately rush to the spot to provide medical attention to all affected.

The Chief Minister has asked the authorities to take severe action against those involved in the manufacture and sale of spurious liquor. He also directed the principal secretary to investigate the incident immediately and take severe action.

Reports said locals purchased the country-made liquor from an excise shop and drank it, following which they complained of nausea and dizziness.

In February, a hooch tragedy in India's northeastern state of Assam claimed over 150 lives, most of whom were tea garden workers at an estate.

Prior to that around 100 people died in a similar tragedy in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

Spurious alcohol deaths are often reported in India, where people often drink cheap country-made bootleg liquor.

In December 2011, a hooch tragedy killed 172 people in West Bengal state.