An eight-year-old boy died in a Kerala village around 70km from Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday after consuming a large amount of hard liquor, police said.
According to the police, the boy was alone at his home in Pathanapuram and drank nearly 300ml of scotch whisky upon spotting a bottle in his father’s cupboard.
“There was no one at home and when the parents returned in the evening yesterday (Sunday), the boy was in an unconscious state. The parents poured water on him and he got up, only to fall down. He was taken to a hospital and close to midnight the boy passed away," a police official said.
The boy’s father is a tile worker and the liquor bottle was gifted to him by a friend visiting from the Middle East. Since he is not a tippler, he stored it in his cupboard. Initial investigation did not reveal any foul play and it appeared the eight-year-old unwittingly drank the liquor.
“We will conduct a detailed forensic examination. Once details are out, we will book the father for stocking liquor in careless manner,” senior police officer of Kollam district in south Kerala said.
Kerala has the highest per capita alcohol consumption in India. It is estimated that one in 10 men in the state is addicted to liquor. According to the Economic Survey of 2012, liquor sales touched an all-time high of Rs 8,086 crore in 2012-2013 fiscal. In 2011-12 fiscal, it was Rs 7,860 crore.