At least 34 people have died in India and more than a hundred others have been hospitalized after consuming adulterated alcohol, officials in the southern state of Tamil Nadu said Thursday.

A mixture of local drink and toxic methanol was the cause of the fatal poisoning, state Chief Minister MK Stalin was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India agency.

Several people were arrested following these deaths, according to the official, denouncing crimes which “ruin society and will be repressed with an iron fist”, according to a press release from his office.

Hundreds of people die every year in India from batches of toxic alcohol made in illegal distilleries.

Methanol is often added to these drinks, which can cause blindness, liver damage or death.
In this incident in Tamil Nadu, more than 100 people were hospitalized, according to MS Prasanth, Kallakurichi district administration official, quoted by the Press Trust of India.

The state governor, RN Ravi, declared himself “deeply shocked” by the deaths, adding that “many other victims are in serious condition and fighting for their lives”, on the social network X.

Alcohol is not prohibited in Tamil Nadu but it is sold on the black market cheaper than that sold legally.

The sale and consumption of alcohol is banned in several other parts of India, favoring bootleg alcohol factories.

Last year, 27 people died in the eastern state of Bihar due to a batch of adulterated liquor, while in 2022, at least 42 people died in another incident in Gujarat (west).

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