Thirteen people died on Tuesday under mysterious circumstances at a village in Gopalganj district of Bihar.
The deaths were reported from Harkuwa block in Khajurbari village of the district. Seven died late Tuesday evening and six others, reported critical, died early Wednesday.
According to the families, the deceased had consumed illicit liquor.
Locals said the victims developed stomach ache and began vomiting soon after consuming the liquor and were rushed to local hospitals. Some were taken to adjoining Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh.
However, the district administration denied that the deaths occurred due to consumption of spurious liquor and has ordered an inquiry.
“We have sent blood samples for forensic examination,” said Gopalganj district magistrate Rahul Kumar . “Unless we get the reports, we cannot confirm the reason of deaths,” he said.
The DM said every case was from a different area of the district. He said that while one death was reported after a person consumed sulfas tablets, another person was suffering from tetanus.
This is the third instance in a fortnight in the state where total prohibition on the sale and consumption of liquor began April 5. The ban covers country liquour as well.
On August 13, three people died and eight fell ill after allegedly consuming hooch in West Champaran district. Survivors complained of partial loss of vision.
After Bihar was declared a dry state, station house officers and excise officials face stringent punishment for deaths or disability due to spurious liquor. Those engaged in the business of spurious liquor may face death penalty or life term and up to Rs 10 lakh fine.