Not fewer than twenty people, mostly Christians were poisoned to death while dozens more remain sickened after consuming toxic liquor on Christmas Eve in Central Pakistan.
“24 people including 22 Christians and two Muslims were killed after consuming the toxic liquor brewed by the residents in Mubarakabad Basti on Christmas Eve”, local police official Imran Atif told AFP.
The officer also said that dozens of people were transported to hospitals in the town of Toba Tek Singh in Punjab province.
He added at least 60 people were taken ill and are treated for poisoning.
A total of 15 were killed in one area and then another 12 people died elsewhere the day before. So far the death is said to have grown to 27.
“The maker of the toxic liquor is allegedly among those who were killed by the toxic liquor,” Bilal Kamyana, a senior police official, told Reuters.
“The maker prepared liquor at home and sold it in polythene bags for 500 rupees (about $5) each,” Kamyana continued
The harrowing incident happened in a Christian colony in Toba Tek Singh city, 338km south of Islamabad.
It is the most recent alcohol poisoning in the conservative Muslim country.
Alcohol sales and consumption are particularly banned for Muslims and is highly regulated for minorities and foreigners even though legal breweries exist in the country. Thus, Pakistani laws allow non-Muslims to purchase alcohol from licensed shops.
However, most poor Christians do buy homemade brews despite causing deaths yearly (they usually contain methanol, commonly used in antifreeze and fuel). This is because it is more affordable than foreign ones.
Read Also: 160+ Extremely Good Jokes
Only the rich people can afford to buy bootlegged foreign alcohol at very high prices.
In October this year, about 11 Christians died after drinking poisonous liquor at a party in Punjab province.
Also in the same month in 2014, at least 29 drinkers died after taking methanol-tainted liquor during the Eid public holidays.