At least 26 people have died in two districts of Uttar Pradesh in last 72 hours after drinking poisonous liquor.
Eighteen people have died in western Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur district while eight deaths have been reported in eastern UP’s Kushinagar district. The number of deaths can go up, officials said.
In Saharanpur, the UP Police claims the liquor was smuggled from neighbouring Uttarakhand by a villager, who then distributed it to others.
In Kushinagar, the liquor is believed to have been brought in from Bihar, according to government officials.
An official inquiry has been ordered by the state government into the deaths.
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath has also ordered suspension of several policemen and Excise Department officials. The government has also launched a 15-day joint operation of Excise Department and UP Police to take action against spurious liquor operatives, said officials.