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    Death toll in India’s Bihar hooch tragedy rises to 81

    XINHUA – The death toll in the suspected toxic liquor consumption in the eastern Indian state of Bihar yesterday has risen to 81, state-run broadcaster All India Radio (AIR) said.

    “The death toll in Bihar hooch tragedy has risen to 81,” the broadcaster said.

    “Maximum (of) 74 deaths have been reported from Saran district as 15 more people succumbed to the consumption of spurious liquor in the district.

    “Five people died in Siwan district, while two died in the Begusarai district.”

    The deaths were first reported on Tuesday from Saran district, about 60 kilometres northwest of Patna, the capital city of Bihar.

    Locals said after the consumption of alcohol people began vomitting, following which their condition deteriorated.

    This image from a video shows relatives preparing to cremate the body of a victim suspected to have died after drinking tainted liquor. PHOTO: AP

    The broadcaster said the casualties are likely to go up further as 30 people, with 12 of them in serious condition, were undergoing treatment at various hospitals.

    Twenty-five people have lost their eyesight following the consumption of the toxic liquor, AIR said.

    Saran district magistrate Rajesh Meena told media 213 people engaged in the spurious liquor trade have been arrested so far.

    Two police officials, including a senior police officer, have already been suspended for dereliction of their duties.

    Bihar is a dry state and there is a complete ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol since 2016.

    However, deaths due to the consumption of illicit liquor in the state are reported often.

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