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12 dead in India after drinking tainted alcohol

At least 12 people have died after drinking bootleg alcohol in the eastern Indian state of Bihar.

The victims consumed the tainted alcohol on Monday evening and fell ill the following day, said police superintendent Niranjan Kumar.

Five others are being treated for poisoning in hospital in the Gopalganj district of the state, said Rahul Kumar, a district magistrate.

Investigators are carrying out post-mortem examinations to determine the exact cause of death, Mr Kumar said.

Police also confiscated alcohol that could have caused the deaths.

Deaths from drinking illegally brewed alcohol are common in India because the poor cannot afford licensed drinks.

Such drinks are often spiked with chemicals including pesticides to increase potency.

The Bihar government banned the sale and production of all forms of alcohol in the state in April in an effort to curb alcoholism.

The state has very strict laws and 11,000 people have been arrested in a crackdown against those making, storing or consuming alcohol.

State police said 11 senior police officials have been suspended for not implementing the law.



From Belfast Telegraph