Twelve people have died after drinking spurious liquor in Haryana, police officials said, , reported Dainik Jagran on Saturday.

Yamunanagar Superintendent of Police Ganga Ram Punia said that the first death was reported on Wednesday. The deaths occurred in the Mandebari, Panjeto Ka Majra, Phoosgarh and Saran villages in Yamunanagar and in neighbouring Ambala district, reported NDTV.

“My father died of alcohol poisoning last night,” said Ravinder, the son of a 70-year-old victim. “He was addicted to alcohol, but he usually only consumed a small amount.”

The police have so far arrested seven suspects and are conducting raids to arrest more.

The police have confiscated 200 crates of spurious liquor made in an abandoned factory and given to the arrested people in Yamunanagar. They have also seized 14 empty drums and the materials used to make the illicit liquor.

A case has been registered under Sections 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide), 302 (murder), 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and provisions of the Punjab Excise (Haryana Amendment Bill), the Punjab Excise Act and Copyright Acts, Punia said.

The Congress, the Aam Aadmi Party and the Indian National Lok Dal have targeted the Bharatiya Janata Party-Jannayak Janata Party alliance government over the deaths, reported The Indian Express.

Former Chief Minister and Congress MLA Bhupinder Singh Hooda alleged on Thursday that the “black trade of intoxicants is spreading in Haryana, under the patronage of the BJP-JJP government”. He added that spurious liquor and synthetic drugs “are continuously killing the people of the state.”

Aam Aadmi Party state chief and Rajya Sabha MP Sushil Gupta alleged that illegal liquor is being sold on every street. Gupta also alleged that the business of selling spurious liquor in branded bottles is also going on openly in the state.

Indian National Lok Dal’s leader Abhay Singh Chautala demanded a judicial inquiry into the deaths.

“Instead of punishing the accused, the government works to protect them,” he alleged. “During the Covid-19 period when people were not even coming out of their homes, there was no shortage of liquor in the state and smuggling of liquor took place on a large scale. The government is completely responsible for what happened in Yamunanagar.”