At least 28 people died, 60 sick in India from drinking spiked alcohol, officials say

AHMEDABAD, India — At least 28 people have died and 60 others have fallen ill from drinking altered spirits in western India, officials said on Tuesday.

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

Gujarat State Police Chief Ashish Gupta said several suspected smugglers involved in selling the spiked alcohol had been arrested.

Image: offset liquor India
People wait to be taken to a hospital for treatment after falling ill from consuming modified alcohol in Botad, India, July 26, 2022. AP

Deaths from illicitly brewed alcohol are common in India, where illicit alcohol is cheap and often spiked with chemicals such as pesticides to make it more effective.

Illegal spirits have become a hugely profitable industry across India, with smugglers paying no taxes and selling vast quantities of their produce to the poor at a bargain price.

In 2020, at least 120 people died in the Indian state of Punjab after drinking tainted alcohol. At least 28 people died, 60 sick in India from drinking spiked alcohol, officials say

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