Earlier the toll was reported at 17, with 12 people hospitalised. However four of those have since died, police said. “Four more people succumbed to the poisoning. The total deaths are 21 now,” senior district police officer, Visarjan Singh Yadav, told AFP by telephone, adding that others remain ill in hospital.
A police officer told AFP that a local vendor was arrested late Saturday after police registered a formal case against him for culpable homicide.
“The vendor obviously mixed some chemical in the last batch...police are investigating the matter,” the officer, who requested anonymity, told AFP without specifying the chemical used in this case.
Hundreds of poor people die every year in India due to alcohol poisoning, mostly from consuming cheap hooch. Most of Friday night’s victims were daily wage labourers and farmers too poor to afford branded alcohol who would usually buy a cheap mix from bootleggers after work.