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.


UN General Assembly: World leaders take part in first ever 'virtual' debate

Updated 22 September 2020

UN General Assembly: World leaders take part in first ever 'virtual' debate

UNITED NATIONS: The UN’s first virtual meeting of world leaders is getting under way with pre-recorded speeches from some of the planet's biggest powers,

Among those expected to speak on Tuesday are Donald Trump, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Vladimir Putin, China's Xi Jinping and French president Emmanuel Macron.

From the Middle East, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani will take the virtual floor as his country comes under huge pressure from the US over the crumblimng nuclear deal.

Jordan's King Abdullah II and the Emir of Qatar will also deliver their addresses.

After Monday's introductory session marking the UN's 75th anniversary, the "general debate" is the meeting's central event — speeches from each of its 193 member nations.

They traditionally serve as a platform for countries to tout accomplishments, seek support, stoke rivalries and express views on global priorities.


*With AP