Man blinded after drinking bad liquor

Published: October 19, 2011

Locally made alcohol, Desi Sharab, Tharra and Kuppi, are available for Rs100 to Rs200 a bottle and are popular among the poor.

KARACHI: At least seven men died, while an eighth was blinded after a group of 10 friends consumed contaminated liquor late on Monday night.

Officials fear that the death toll would go up as they suspect that the victims’ families are trying to hide the fact that they have fallen ill and even died in order to avoid legal formalities or ramifications.

In Karachi, poisoning from liquor is nothing new – several similar incidents in the past have left over 70 people dead while two to three people die of it every couple of months.

The alcohol is believed to have been prepared with expired chemicals, which caused so many deaths so fast. It is available in areas including Chanesar Goth, Korangi, Old Golimar, Pak Colony and Keamari.

Locally made alcohol, Desi Sharab, Tharra and Kuppi, are available for Rs100 to Rs200 a bottle and are popular among the poor.

The most recent incident occurred at Chanesar Goth’s Bakri Mohalla near Hindu Para. The area falls in Tipu Sultan police limits. About 10 friends were out drinking late on Monday night when four of them fell ill. They were brought to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre on Tuesday afternoon. Three of them, Waheed Mansha, 27, Aslam, 30, and Aarib, 60, died shortly after being brought to the hospital while the fourth, Ata Mohammad, has lost his eyesight.

Ata Mohammad claimed that he bought the liquor from Korangi Industrial Area’s Mehran Town about three days ago. He also refused to identify the man he bought it from. “I have been drinking it little by little since I bought it,” he said. “Last night we all had some, however, I had a little bit which is probably why I didn’t die.”

All the men were labourers and lived in the same area. Their families have been avoiding the media because they fear legal action will be taken against them.

Some however, were glad to be rid of their alcoholic relatives. “We are not sad or worried. Everyone gets what they deserved,” said a relative vehemently. “They were no saints. They were the type of people whose families had nothing to eat yet they always made sure they had alcohol.”

The man claimed that a total of seven people had lost their lives. Shafi, Mubashir and Moosa also died but their families did not take their bodies to the hospital.

SHO Ghaus Alam, however, claimed that the police are ready to take action against those responsible and are trying to find the real culprits. “It doesn’t matter which area they bought the liquor from,” he said. “Now we need to get out of that hassle and catch the people responsible so that we can prevent more people from dying.”

Published in The Express Tribune, October 19th, 2011.

Reader Comments (7)

  • Ali
    Oct 19, 2011 - 12:05PM

    I would not agree with Author of this article when he states that:

    The alcohol is believed to have been prepared with expired chemicals, which caused so many deaths so fast.

    As a matter of fact, it is charateristics of methanol. Methanol is added to industrial alocohol to make it unsuitable for drinking. Dangers of Mathanol consumption includes, blindness, madness and death.

    It seem that this alcohol was prepared from industrial alcohol. Person selling this alcohol know the risks involved. It is a serious offence on their part. They all should be brought to justice.

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  • Straight Fire
    Oct 19, 2011 - 12:24PM

    There is nothing like ‘Good Liquor’ … And nobody gets blinded by drinking liquor, Its God who put darkness in the eyes

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  • Sarah
    Oct 19, 2011 - 1:27PM

    Rs. 100 to Rs. 200 a bottle… wow that must be turpentine to drink.

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  • Ali
    Oct 19, 2011 - 3:29PM

    @Straight Fire:

    You are right as nothing can happen without will of Allah. Some people get ill/killed by alcohol while some other survive.

    However, I would like to point out that Matahnol is a form of Alcohol and is infact very dangerous and highly inflammable liquid. In industrial Alcohol (prepared for various purposes like sipirit for treatment of wounds, etc.) a samll quantity is added so that it cannot be used for Drinking purposes.

    Mathanol can cause Blindness, Madness and Death. Drinking Alcohol is a sinand drinking Methylated-Alcohol is an attempted suicide.

    May Allah forgive us All for our sins.

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  • Raja Islam
    Oct 19, 2011 - 11:07PM

    The solution is to open up sale of alcohol. People who drink will do so anyways, the difference being that instead of buying from smugglers and bootleggers they would end up buying from licensed liquor stores.

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Oct 19, 2011 - 11:54PM

    95% crimes are committed under the supervision of the Police after giving them “their share of booty”.

    The person selling liquor in the area would have been in the notice of the Police, but the Police turned its blind eye after getting the required Bhatta from the liquor seller.

    By the way, I have seen Policewalas buying liquor from the licensed liquor shops for their consumption, as well as to sell the same for their other “valuable clients”, though licensed liquor shops are been given licenses to sell liquor to non-Muslims, but majority of the clientele of the liquor shops are from Muslim community.

    Does it come under the domain of the local Ministry of Health to vouch that the liquor sold in the open market is not dangerous for the human health.

    Would Dr. Sagheer Ahmed, Minister of Health of Government of Sindh like to comment on my comments?

    Or the IGP Sindh will write a response as what the Police is doing in the areas where such liquor shops exists in Karachi from where poor people buy the liquor, consume it to die or become blind.

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  • KolachiMom
    Oct 20, 2011 - 3:57PM

    @Sarah:
    True.

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