At least 19 people died in Odisha and more than a dozen others were battling for life after consuming medicines as a substitute for liquor, officials said Wednesday.
The victims from Cuttack and its adjoining Khordha districts fell ill after consuming the cough and cold syrup they had bought from a man at Tukuliapada village in Cuttack district Monday. Baidhar Bhoi, the seller, too died Tuesday.
"The toll stood at 19," district collector S.N.Girish told IANS. The toll may increase as several others were in critical condition.
Excise Commissioner Sudarsana Nayak said the liquor addicts consumed medicinal formulations, which contained high percentage of alcohol.
Three people, who are relatives of the seller, have been arrested.