At least 24 Hindus, including six women, have died after consuming spurious liquor during Holi celebrations in Pakistan's Sindh, two years after a similar tragedy struck the country's southern province.
Police said 35 people were rushed to a hospital in the Tando Mohammad Khan district late last night, where 24 of them died.
Following the tragedy, residents staged a protest against the police for failing to stop the illegal sale of hooch in their neighbourhood. Authorities have suspended the area Station House Officer. Two persons have been arrested for brewing the illegal drink.
They were celebrating the festival of Holi this week and purchased the cheap liquor from a dealer in Tando Muhammad Khan. The condition of the remaining persons is said to be critical, said Haq Nawaz, senior police official in Hyderabad.
The latest incident is a reminder of similar tragedies in Hyderabad and Karachi in 2014 during Eid-ul Azha celebrations when 29 people died after consuming hooch.
Alcohol consumption is banned in Pakistan for Muslims but non-Muslims are allowed to ration alcohol from special liquor shops run by provincial excise departments.