72 die from tainted liquor in India

Indian police gather around containers of bootleg alcohol in 2017

Modal Trigger Indian police gather around containers of bootleg alcohol in 2017. AFP Getty Images

Medical personnel expect the number of deaths could rise, as two dozen people are treated in hospitals.

According to the India's National Crime Records Bureau's latest figures, 1,522 people died from drinking spurious liquor in 2015 - almost all of them men.

More than 100 people have died after drinking bootleg alcohol in northern India, the latest tragedy caused by the country's vast illegal booze racket.

Of the estimated five billion litres of alcohol drunk every year in India, around 40 percent is illegally produced, according to the International Spirits and Wine Association of India.

Two men who consumed bootleg alcohol, sit on a hospital bed as relatives look on, in Saharanpur, northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India February 11, 2019.

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The majority of the deaths were reported from the village of Balpur in Uttarakhand.

Family members of a hooch victim mourn at Chowdhurypara under Shantipur police station of Nadia district where seven people died and twelve fell ill after consuming spurious liquor locally called cholai. "He was better then and slept after coming back home".

"We will catch everyone involved, either this side of the border or that side", Saharanpur Superintendent of Police Dinesh Kumar said in an NDTV report. "We can not deny the deaths but we will clamp down, we have been applying pressure on the border areas and we don't know the manufacture of spurious liquor in our areas".

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has ordered strict action in the matter.

"Preliminary investigations show they died of the adulterated liquor. We can't deny a conspiracy this time too".

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