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.
"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.