Twenty-four people, mostly Christians, were killed and dozens more taken ill after consuming toxic liquor on Christmas Eve in Toba Tek Singh district of Punjab, police said Tuesday.
The incident happened in a Christian colony in Toba Tek Singh, 338 kilometres south of Islamabad.
“According to latest information, 24 people, including 22 Christians and two Muslims, have died after consuming toxic liquor brewed by residents in the Mubarakabad Basti on Christmas Eve,” local police official Imran Atif told AFP.
He added at least 60 people were taken ill.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Saddar Atif Imran Qureshi earlier told DawnNews that the toxic liquor was sold on the pretext of permitted liquor. He added that the matter is being investigated, and assured that action would be taken against those involved.
Though legal breweries exist in Pakistan, alcohol sales and consumption are prohibited for Muslims and regulated for minorities and foreigners.
While wealthy citizens buy bootlegged foreign alcohol at heavily inflated prices, the poor often resort to home-brews that can contain methanol, commonly used in anti-freeze and fuel.
Eleven Christians died in October after consuming toxic liquor at a party in Punjab. In October 2014, at least 29 drinkers were killed after consuming methanol-tainted liquor over the Eid holidays.
courtesy : Dawn News