At least 35 people have died after consuming toxic alcohol in eastern India, police said on Sunday.
The deaths have been reported since Wednesday in three neighboring districts of the eastern state of Bihar. Investigations were conducted, and several victims’ autopsies revealed that they had died after consuming illegally brewed poisonous liquor.
At least 12 of the victims were residents of a village in the West Champaran district and had drunk alcohol during a rally the night before Diwali, police said. Most of the victims showed signs of poisoning and suffered from nausea and vomiting, news channel NDTV reports. The eyesight of some was also affected.
Nineteen people have been arrested. According to national statistics, an average of 1,000 people dies every year in India, mostly from poorer sections of society, after consuming illegally distilled alcohol.
The drink is usually made with poor-quality ingredients and sometimes mixed with industrial alcohol and toxic substances.