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Monday, 23 October, 2000, 15:11 GMT 16:11 UK
Inquiry into Indian liquor deaths
The authorities in the southern Indian state of Kerala have ordered a judicial inquiry into the deaths of 28 people from contaminated alcohol.

More than 100 people are ill in hospital after drinking the alcohol, which police say may have been mixed with a cheap industrial chemical - Ethyl.

They are investigating an illegal brewery, about 80 km from the state capital, Trivandrum.

The victims came from three towns near the brewery and all three have held strikes in protest at the deaths.

A BBC correspondent in Kerala says opposition parties are demanding the resignation of the excise minister.

Since the authorities banned the sale of a local liquor, arrack, five years ago nearly a hundred people have been killed in similar cases of poisoning.

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