At least 40 people, mostly from Pakistan’s minority Hindu community, lost their lives and dozens were admitted in hospital after drinking tainted liquor days ahead of Holi, police said on Wednesday.
Irfan Baluch, a senior police official in Tando Muhammad Khan district, east of Karachi, said “Most of the victims were from the Hindu Kohli community who had been drinking on Monday ahead of Thursday’s Holi festival, which marks the beginning of spring.”
“It’s a Holi celebration-related incident as mostly Hindus have been affected,” he said.
Deaths caused y consuming tainted liquor, often home-brewed, occur periodically in Pakistan, where it is illegal for Muslims to buy or consume alcohol. Minorities need permits to buy alcohol in restricted quantities.
Non-Muslims make up only about three percent of the 190 million population of Pakistan.