More than sixty people died after drinking intoxicated smuggled alcohol in the northeastern Indian state of Punjab, authorities and the press said.
The victims died in three districts of the state and the police have arrested 10 people, authorities said.
Hundreds of people die each year in India from intoxicated alcohol made in street distilleries, which sells for just 10 rupees (13 cents, 11 cents) a liter.
Eleven people had died in the Gurdaspur district, an official told AFP. The Press Trust of India news agency and other media reported Saturday that the illegal drink caused 53 fatalities in neighboring Amritsar and Tarn Taran districts.
It is believed that there have been more deaths in the past few days, but it could not be proven as the bodies were cremated without an autopsy.
Punjab state prime minister Amarinder Singh said on Friday that he had ordered a special investigation into the deaths and that “no one found guilty will be forgiven.”
The Indian Express newspaper stated that one of the suspect had died in the Amritsar district after consuming the illegal liquor and that his wife had been arrested for selling the alcohol.
This case comes after authorities in the southeastern state of Andhra Pradesh announced on Friday the deaths of nine people who had consumed hydroalcoholic gel.
The victims drank the disinfectant as an alcohol substitute, the sale of which has been restricted during the confinement imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.