At least 99 dead after consuming toxic alcohol in India

Police spokesman said 59 people died in one of the districts in Uttar Pradesh after ingesting the toxic alcohol. Above, police raid an illegal alcohol manufacturer in Uttar Pradesh state after dozens of people died after ingesting toxic alcohol. (AFP)
Updated 11 February 2019
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At least 99 dead after consuming toxic alcohol in India

  • Officials suspect high levels of methanol chemical were added to the locally-made liquor
  • The chemical can cause blindness, liver damage and death if ingested in large quantities

NEW DELHI: At least 99 people have died and scores have been hospitalized in northern India after drinking toxic alcohol, triggering a crackdown against bootleggers, officials said Monday.
News of the deaths in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand has trickled in over the past three days, with police suspecting the moonshine had been cut with methanol.
Cheap, locally-made liquor is common in parts of rural India and bootleggers often add methanol — a highly toxic form of alcohol sometimes used as an anti-freeze — to their product to increase its strength.
If ingested in large quantities, methanol can cause blindness, liver damage and death.
In one district of Uttar Pradesh 59 people had died after consuming toxic alcohol, police spokesman Shailendra Kumar Sharma told AFP.
In a neighboring district a senior police officer said nine had died, adding that 66 suspected bootleggers had been arrested and samples of the liquor sent to a laboratory for testing.
Police said at least 31 people died in neighboring Uttarakhand state and that two had been arrested on suspicion of supplying the liquor.
Newspaper reports said around 3,000 people linked with the illegal trade were arrested across Uttar Pradesh in the aftermath of the tragedy.
Hundreds of poor people die every year in India due to alcohol poisoning, mostly from consuming cheap alcohol.
In 2015, more than 100 people died in a Mumbai slum after drinking illegal moonshine.
Of the estimated 5 billion liters of alcohol drunk every year in India, around 40 percent is illegally produced, according to the International Spirits and Wine Association of India.


Egyptian who killed daughter in Germany sentenced to life

Updated 21 February 2019
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Egyptian who killed daughter in Germany sentenced to life

  • The defendant, identified as Ahmed F. in line with German privacy rules, was found guilty of strangling his seven-year-old daughter in July 2018 because he wanted to take revenge against his wife
  • He suspected his wife of infidelity

BERLIN: A German court has sentenced a 33-year-old Egyptian man to life in prison for killing his daughter in a fit of jealousy.
In its verdict Thursday, Duesseldorf's regional court noted the gravity of the crime, preventing his release even after serving the standard 15-year life term.
The defendant, identified as Ahmed F. in line with German privacy rules, was found guilty of strangling his seven-year-old daughter in July 2018 because he wanted to take revenge against his wife, who he suspected of infidelity.
F. denied the allegations and claimed his daughter died in an accident.
His wife had called police after receiving a video call from F. in which he could be seen pointing a gun at their crying daughter. She was dead by the time police entered the apartment.