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Suspects held after Pakistan alcohol poisoning kills 35

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Lahore : Five persons were today taken into custody and three others identified for allegedly brewing and selling toxic liquor mixed with aftershave lotion on Christmas eve that claimed 35 lives in a town in Pakistan’s Punjab Province.

The suspects knew that aftershave is intoxicating because of the presence of spirit in it, said District Police Officer (DPO) Toba Tek Singh Usman Akram Gondal.

They purchased 20 litres of aftershave lotion from Shorkot and sold it as liquor after adulterating it with chemicals, Geo News reported.

One of the suspects has died of consuming same toxic moonshine, whereas the other two are being treated along with several others. One suspect along with four others is in police custody.

The incident took place in a Christian colony in Toba Tek Singh city on December 24 when residents consumed home-made liquor, police said.

The toxic liquor killed at least 35 people, mostly Christians, and seriously affected 50 others, Geo News reported.

Around 30 people are still receiving treatment at DHQ Toba Tek Singh and Allied Hospital Faisalabad.

Police further said that they were investigating five under custody suspects pertaining to the incident.

“The men who belong to the Christian community drank liquor on the night of December 25 and went home. Tragedy struck the next morning when many did not rise from their beds, while others got sick,” Police officer Mohammad Nadeem said.

Though Pakistan has allowed some breweries to function, alcohol sales and consumption are strictly prohibited for Muslims and tightly regulated for minority communities and foreigners.

In March, 45 people, including 35 Hindus, had died after consuming spurious liquor during Holi celebrations in Sindh province.

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