At least 22 people have died and 30 others have fallen ill allegedly after consuming spurious liquor in a tea garden in Assam's Golaghat district.
According to police, the victim labourers of Salmira tea estate, fell ill after they drank the illicit brew Thursday night.
Twelve of them were brought dead to the Golaghat civil hospital and three of them succumbed later. Twenty-seven of the ill have been referred to the Jorhat Medical College Hospital, the police said.
The death toll is likely to increase as reports of more persons falling ill after consuming the spurious liquor are coming in, a district official said.
More than a hundred people are reported to have consumed the liquor, suspected to have been bought from the same seller, Khumtai's BJP MLA Mrinal Saikia said.
A doctor attending to the patients said that the deaths were due to consumption of spurious country liquor and the condition of most of those brought to the hospital was serious.
Saikia said that he has directed the district administration to inquire into the matter and take immediate action against those responsible for the tragedy.
All the deceased, barring one, have been identified.
Congress MLA Rupjyoti Kurmi has demanded the resignation of Excise Minister Parimal Suklabaidya and urged Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to give compensation to the next of the kin of the deceased.
(With PTI inputs)