Islamabad: A Pakistani police officer says at least 17 Hindus have died after consuming illegally-made alcohol during religious celebrations in southern Pakistan.
Niaz Shah said Tuesday that 37 people from the Hindu community in Tando Muhammad Khan district were rushed to hospital on Monday.
He says they consumed the hooch during preparations for Holi celebrations, which will begin Wednesday.
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Shah says 11 people have since been discharged, but nine remain in a critical condition in hospital. He says four people have been arrested over brewing the illegal drink.
With the exception of a few licensed shops permitted to sell alcohol to non-Muslims, it is against the law to drink or sell alcoholic drinks in Pakistan. Numerous incidents of mass poisonings from homemade alcohol have been reported in the past.