Indian police crackdown on illegal liquor suppliers after 86 die

Punjab Police (DIG) Hardial Singh Mann (L) along with Police officers speaks to media persons at Tarn Taran, some 25 km from Amritsar on August 1, 2020. At least 40 people have died in three Punjab's districts including Amritsar, Batala and Tarn Taran, after reportedly drinking spurious liquor over two days, local media reported on July 31. (AFP)
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Updated 02 August 2020

Indian police crackdown on illegal liquor suppliers after 86 die

  • Punjab police have so far arrested at least 25 people
  • Deaths from illegally-produced alcohol, known locally as “hooch” or “country liquor,” are a regular occurrence in India

NEW DELHI: Indian police raided rural hamlets and made arrests to break up a bootlegging cartel on Sunday, after 86 people died from consuming illegally-produced alcohol this week in the northwestern state of Punjab, officials said.
“We have conducted raids at more than 30 places today and we have detained six more persons,” Dhruman H. Nimbale, a senior police officer in Punjab’s Tarn Taran district, told Reuters.
Nimbale said the first death occurred on Wednesday but police were only alerted on Friday, and then launched an investigation to determine whether the fatalities were linked.
Punjab police have so far arrested at least 25 people and conducted more than 100 raids across three districts, seizing hundreds of liters of liquor from villages and road-side eateries, the state’s police chief Dinkar Gupta said on Saturday.
A government official said some of the seized liquid was denatured spirit, which is typically used in the paint and hardware industry.
Deaths from illegally-produced alcohol, known locally as “hooch” or “country liquor,” are a regular occurrence in India, where many cannot afford branded spirits.
Recent coronavirus-related lockdowns have also made it difficult for consumers to enjoy a regular tipple. On Friday, 10 men died in a southern Indian states after consuming sanitizer derived from alcohol, as local liquor shops were closed, police said.


Lithuania designates Hezbollah as a terrorist organization

Updated 19 sec ago

Lithuania designates Hezbollah as a terrorist organization

  • Lithuania FM says country received information from partners leading to decision
  • The country joins the US, Israel, Britain, Germany, and Arab League and Gulf Arab states in the decision

VILNIUS, Lithuania: Lithuania on Thursday designated the Lebanese militant Hezbollah group as a terrorist organization and issued a 10-year ban on all individuals related to the Iran-backed group from entering the Baltic nation’s territory.
“After receiving valuable information from our foreign partners, we can assume that Hezbollah is functioning on the principles of terrorist organization,” Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius said.
Linkevicius added, without elaborating, that some persons with the Iran-backed organization also pose threat to Lithuania’s national security.
Hezbollah emerged as a ragtag guerrilla group in the 1980s, funded by Iran to battle Israeli troops occupying southern Lebanon. A protracted guerrilla war, characterized by roadside bombs and sniper attacks, eventually forced Israel to withdraw in May 2000. With the exception of an inconclusive, monthlong war in 2006, the volatile frontier has largely remained calm.
The US and Israel, along with Britain, Germany, the Arab League and Gulf Arab states have also designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. The European Union has only designated the group’s military wing as terrorist, in the aftermath of an attack on a tourist bus in Bulgaria in 2012.