Indian police launch manhunt on suppliers of adulterated alcohol

by Maruf Adedeji
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Indian police have arrested many illegal liquor suppliers in rural hamlets following spike in the alcohol-related deaths in the northwestern state of Punjab.

Police officials said on Sunday August 2, 2020 that they had launched manhunt on more than 30 places and have detained six more persons.

“The first death occurred on Wednesday but police were only alerted on Friday, and we launched an investigation to determine whether fatalities were linked,” said Dhruman H. Nimbale, a senior police officer in Punjab’s Tarn Taran district.

“Punjab police have so far arrested at least 25 people and conducted more than 100 raids across three districts, seizing hundreds of litres of liquor from villages and road-side eateries,” the state’s police chief, Dinkar Gupta, said on Sunday.

Officials said some of the confiscated liquid was adulterated spirit, which is typically used in the paint and hardware industry.

India occasionally records deaths linked to denatured alcohol, locally known as “hooch” or “country liquor,” because many cannot afford branded spirits.

Measures against coronavirus spread has seen Indian authorities declare lockdown across the country, making it difficult for consumers to enjoy a regular tipple.

Police said 10 men died on Friday in a southern Indian state after consuming sanitiser derived from alcohol, prompting authorities to close local liquor shops.

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