At least 76 die in cases tied to illegal alcohol
At least 76 people have died in northern India after drinking bootleg liquor, the latest in a string of tragedies linked to illegal alcohol that proved to be poisonous.
The deaths were in two neighboring states, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
Tainted liquor has killed at least 36 people since Thursday in the Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh, said Alok Kumar Pandey, the local administrator. The district is about 130 miles from New Delhi. Autopsies are not yet complete, Pandey said, and the death toll will probably rise.
In a neighboring district in Uttarakhand, 32 people died after drinking illegal liquor served during a mourning ritual.
Authorities say they think the two incidents are linked, with mourners probably having traveled from Uttar Pradesh to Uttarakhand, bringing back liquor to sell.
Separately, eight people died in a village in the district of Kushinagar, in eastern Uttar Pradesh, where residents drank tainted liquor at a fair, officials said.
Such deaths are common in India, where illegally brewed alcohol is often consumed for a variety of reasons, including poverty and geographic isolation.