Some 21 people have died in India after drinking spiked alcohol, officials have said.
The deaths occurred in the Ahmedabad and Botad districts of Gujarat state in the west of India, according to senior government official Mukesh Parmar, where the manufacture, sale and consumption of alcohol is strictly forbidden.
A further 30 people have fallen ill as part of the same incident.
Press Trust of India said police in the area have detained people who they believe are bootleggers that were involved in selling of the spiked alcohol.
Local inspector general of police Ashok Yada told The Times of India: “A team from the forensic science laboratory and doctors are investigating the liquor content. We can confirm the cause of death only after getting the… post-mortem report.”
He added police are now raiding local liquor dens.
People dying after drinking illegally brewed alcohol is common place in India, where it is often laced with chemicals such as pesticides and sold at a low cost.
It is a very profitable industry in India, as bootleggers pay no taxes and shift huge volumes of their products to often the poorest in society.
At least 120 people died in 2020 after drinking the tainted alcohol in the country’s northern Punjab state.