Police believe the deaths occurred when victims in two neighboring states drank the same batch of illegal craft beer produced by a criminal group operating between Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

The majority of deaths were reported in Uttar Pradesh, including 36 in Saharanpur district and eight in Kushinagar, according to district officials. Thirty-six people died in Haridwar district in Uttarakhand, told CNN Janmejay Khanduri, the chief of police in the region.

At a press conference Tuesday, Mr. Khanduri said the police had arrested two suspects accused of selling illegal alcohol.

"According to our investigations, we found that the chemical had been transported from Haridwar to Saharanpur," he told CNN, adding that the authorities were waiting for the test results to confirm the use. chemical.

The investigation into the poisoned alcohol is ongoing and eight people, including the two vendors, have been arrested, said police spokesman Shalin Sharma.

About 400 liters of illegal alcohol were seized during joint operations conducted by police in both states.

Police said the criminal group was operating in villages hidden in the forests, where the toxic drinks were mixed.

"Regarding the source of alcohol, we found traces of several places in the forests where alcohol was produced," Dinesh Kumar, police commissioner in Saharanpur, told reporters on Saturday. "There are three or four villages where there are criminals whose job is to make this alcohol."

Problem in progress

Deaths from illegally brewed cheap liquor – often containing toxic methanol – are not uncommon in India.

Moonshine is usually brewed in villages before being smuggled into cities, where it sells for about 10 cents a glass, about a third of the price of legally brewed alcohol.
More than 100 people died after drinking illegal homebrew in a Mumbai slum in June 2015, police said, while more than 160 people died after drinking a bad batch of Bengal moonpowder Western in 2011.
Poor toxic impetus kills 102 people in Mumbai slum
According to SafeProof, a group that campaigns against counterfeit alcohol, illegal alcohol can be deadly "when other liquids, such as rubbing alcohol or methanol, are added to it. 39 "distilled alcohol", allowing sellers to increase the amount of liquid and its potential.
Methanol can make people more drunk, but even a very small amount can be toxic. Methanol poisoning can cause confusion, dizziness, drowsiness, headaches and inability to coordinate muscle movements.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it can cause nausea, vomiting, and heart or respiratory failure. "The byproducts of methanol metabolism cause an accumulation of acid in the blood (metabolic acidosis), blindness and death," says a CDC report.