NEW DELHI — At least 76 people have died in northern India after drinking bootleg liquor, the latest in a series of tragedies caused by illegal alcohol that turned out to be poisonous.
The deaths were in two neighboring states, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
Tainted liquor has killed at least 36 people since Thursday in the Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh, said Alok Kumar Pandey, the local administrator. The district is about 130 miles from New Delhi, the nation’s capital.
The autopsies are not yet complete, Pandey said, and the death toll is likely to rise. Other victims are being treated in local hospitals, and “doctors are trying their best to save their lives.”
In a neighboring district in Uttarakhand, 32 people died after consuming illegal liquor served to them as part of mourning ritual.
Authorities believe the two incidents are linked, with mourners likely having made the journey from Uttar Pradesh to Uttarakhand and brought back liquor to sell.
Eight people also died in the eastern part of Uttar Pradesh in an unconnected tragedy in a village in the district of Kushinagar.