17 Hindus die after consuming spurious liquor in Pakistan

Karachi: At least 17 Hindus were among 20 people who have died after consuming spurious liquor during Holi celebrations in Pakistan's Sindh, two years after a similar tragedy struck the country's southern province.

Police said 34 people were rushed to a hospital in the Tando Mohammad Khan district on Monday, where 20 of them, including two women, died.

"Three of the patients are in a critical condition while 11 have been discharged," the medical superintendant of Liaquat University Hospital, Wajid Memon, was quoted as saying by GeoNews.

A senior police official said they consumed the liquor to celebrate Holi. "They had brought the cheap moonshine from a local dealer," he said.

Residents staged a protest against the police for failing to stop the illegal sale of hooch in their neighbourhood.

Following the protest, the area Station House Officer has been suspended and two persons have been arrested for brewing the illegal drink.

The latest incident is a reminder of a similar tragedy in Hyderabad and Karachi in 2014 during Eid-ul Azha celebrations when 29 people had died after consuming hooch.

Alcohol consumption is banned in Pakistan for Muslims but non-Muslims are allowed to ration alcohol from special liquor shops run by provincial excise departments.

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