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India: Toll From Toxic Liquor Rises To 38

State officials in India’s western state of Gujarat say the toll has risen to 38 after at least 10 more people were confirmed to have died following the consumption of toxic liquor.

“Some of the hospitalized persons who were in critical condition passed away overnight.

 “They had consumed methyl alcohol which was almost undiluted, believing it to be liquor.” police official Ashok Kumar Yadav said.

Police launched an investigation and made six arrests after 51 people affected in Monday’s incident in the state’s adjoining districts of Ahmedabad and Botad were admitted to hospital, in addition to the deaths.

Sales and consumption of alcohol are prohibited in the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, except by those holding a government permit.

Deaths from illegally produced alcohol, popularly called hooch or country liquor, are common in India, where few drinkers can afford branded spirits.

Methyl alcohol, also known as wood alcohol, is unsafe for human consumption and finds use in products from paint thinners to fuel, pesticides, and anti-freeze, among others.

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