Nearly a hundred people have been hospitalized since last Monday, victims of smuggled alcohol, police said Thursday, July 28. Senior police officials from Botad and Ahmedabad districts in Gujurat state also said that at least 42 people had died after drinking this adulterated alcohol.
“31 people died after consuming adulterated alcohol in Botad. About 50 others were admitted to hospital in neighboring Bhavnagar district,” Bhavnagar district police inspector general Ashok Yadav told AFP. Ahmedabad district has recorded 11 deaths, according to the district’s inspector general. V. Chandrasekar.
The state of Gujarat, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is from, is a State where the consumption and sale of alcohol is prohibited by law. According to the Inspector General of Police, these people, coming from half a dozen villages, drank from the alcohol from a local trafficker who provided them with it last Sunday.
“The investigation revealed that the victims had consumed industrial methanol, which caused their death“, State Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi said in a statement. According to him, 97 people have been admitted to the hospital for treatment, two of whom are in critical condition.
40% of alcohol production is made clandestinely
Clandestine alcohol distilleries are a crime that the authorities have decided to tackle in India. Throughout Gujarat, several people were arrested in the words of the state police chief, Ashish Bhatia.
Every year in Indehundreds of people die, victims of these alcohols produced in clandestine distilleries. Of the approximately five billion liters of alcohol consumed each year in the country, about 40% are produced clandestinelyselon l’International Spirits and Wine Association of India.
The problem with this clandestine alcohol is that it is often altered with methanol in order to increase its power. Once ingested, methanol is very dangerous to health since it can cause blindness, liver damage and in severe cases, death.
Last year, 98 people died in the northern state of Punjab after drinking contraband alcohol. In 2019, these are some 150 people who died of poisoning by alcohol in the northeastern state of Assam, most of whom worked tea plantations.