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[March 23.,] : "Indian country liquor kills farmer and then mourners".

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  • [March 23.,] : "Indian country liquor kills farmer and then mourners".

    Ten villagers attending the cremation of a man poisoned by homemade alcohol in the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh died after toasting him with smuggled brew, police said on Monday.

    D. Jaggaiah, a farmer at Ratta Kanna village 730 km (450 miles) northeast of the state capital Hyderabad, died on Saturday after consuming alcohol believed to have been illegally brought in from the neighbouring state of Orissa.

    "Many of the villagers and relatives became sick when they drank hooch after Jaggaiah's funeral as part of their traditional customs," said M.Veerabrahmaiah, a district official. All of those at the cremation were men.

    The official said 16 others were in critical condition at a local hospital.

    Four of those who died were members of Jaggaiah's family. Police did not know if the alcohol that killed the mourners was from the same batch as that which Jaggaiah had consumed.

    Officials in Orissa were also investigating whether the deaths were linked to those of 13 people living in villages near the border between the two states and who have died since Sunday, reportedly after consuming homemade liquor.

    "We suspect all the (Orissan) deaths have been caused by spurious liquor," U.K. Tripathy, Ganjam district health chief, told Reuters.

    While Andhra Pradesh has banned the consumption and production of what is known as country liquor, it is a licensed product in Orissa and smuggling is rampant, officials say.

    The alcohol sells for as little as eight rupees (18 cents) a bottle, one-third of the price of commercially-produced liquor.

    The drink is made from industrial spirit, to which boot-leggers add a cocktail of ingredients which could include vegetables, battery acid and pieces of old rubber tyres.

    The deadly mix is then boiled and distilled, and kills hundreds of poor Indians every year.
    Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive, anyway.

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