Representative Image (Photo: AP)
Lahore: At least 32 people, mostly Christians, have died and nearly 50 others fell sick after consuming illegally-brewed toxic liquor on Christmas eve in a town in Pakistan’s Punjab province, officials said on Tuesday.
The incident took place in a Christian colony in Toba Tek Singh city on December 24 when residents consumed home-made liquor, police said.
The toxic liquor killed at least 32 people, mostly Christians, and seriously affected others, a police official was quoted as saying by BBC Urdu service.
Over two dozen people were hospitalised as their health deteriorated after consuming the alcohol in Mubarakabad Christian Colony, hospital officials said.
Police officer Mohammad Nadeem said that 25 people were still being treated in hospitals in Toba Tek Singh and Faisalabad to have their stomachs pumped.
“The men who belong to the Christian community drank liquor on the night of 25 December and went home. Tragedy struck the next morning when many did not rise from their beds, while others got sick,” he said.
Meanwhile, authorities have formed an inquiry committee to probe the tragedy.
According to a police official, a father-son duo have been arrested for making the toxic liquor.
Though Pakistan has allowed some breweries to function, alcohol sales and consumption are strictly prohibited for Muslims and tightly regulated for minority communities and foreigners.
In March, 45 people, including 35 Hindus, had died after consuming spurious liquor during Holi celebrations in Sindh province.