The National Human Rights Commission on Monday sent a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government over the reported deaths of 150 people in the last 15 years due to spurious liquor in Pusaina village of Mainpuri district. The commission asked the government to submit a comprehensive report in the matter within four weeks.

The human rights panel said it has taken suo motu cognisance of a media report that claimed that in the last 15 years “out of 300 families, 150 have widows in the age of 25 to 65 years” whose husbands died after consuming illegal liquor. The news report, if true, indicates failure on part of the concerned authorities for not taking lawful action against the culprits, the NHRC said.

“The illegal business of hooch has been trading in the area for the years together as mentioned in the news report and no action seems to have been taken, to address the core issue,” it said.

The commission cited the news report that said some families have lost more than one male member. “The noxious alcoholic concoction, that sometimes comes mixed with deadly urea, battery fluid and chemicals, for an instant and extra high, is the main cause of deaths in such a large number,” the NHRC said.

The human rights panel also noted that earlier this month nearly 100 people had died in Saharanpur and Kushinagar districts of Uttar Pradesh, and Haridwar in Uttarakhand.