9 moonshine drinkers die in December
By Aayan Ali
LAHORE: The moonshine – an American expression for illegal liquor - has caused nine deaths during December in the city, Daily Times learnt on Friday.
Muhammad Shakoor and one of his friends were the latest alcohol victim who died in hospital after they took part in a wedding in Raiwind and drunk poisonous liquor. They were followed by Waqas and his friend, Azeem, who died in Sherakot after they took moonshine in another wedding.
In another incident in Kot Shahdin, Tanveer and two of his friends who had also drunk the toxic liquor in a wedding, died. Their five other fellows were admitted to hospital, one of whom died later, taking the death tool to seven victims.
The eighth prey was Rora Masih who died in Gujjar Pura, leaving behind five children. Arif, A drunken man, ran wild during a wedding and opened fired at random, leaving one man, Basharat Ali, dead and Sobia, Shahzad and another guest injured.
The deadly liquor contains less quantity of alcohol and more of spirit that is dangerous for the stomach to digest and results in a painful death.
The city’s prominent hotels have bars that are licensed to sell liquor to non-Muslims and foreigners, but the problem arises when Christian permit holders buy and sell the liquor to other people. They are authorised to buy it for their community but they often overstepped this bound and sell it to other citizens. Rs 600 for a bottle is the cheapest rate and the most expensive one touches Rs 5,000. “We charge more when we sell it illegally,” said a liquor agent asking not to be named. “The business is on its peak on Eid, Christmas and the New Year’s Eve.”
Khalid Sultan, the district coordination officer, has kick-started an operation by ordering his food squad to apprehend the adulterated liquor makers. During their raids, Muhammad Adil Raja, Javed Masih and Johnson were charged with selling impure alcohol.
Dr Shaista Bukhari told DailyTimes that alcohol could affect heart, lower blood pressure and respiration and result in weak muscle reflexes and slower reactions. “There are not many alcohol addicts in the city but a lot of teenagers and mature men tend to take it as a fad. They drink to satiate their machoism but the adulterated liquor is extremely dangerous since it can lead to death before the user get medical treatment,” Dr Bukhari said.
Farooq Amjad Mir, the district naib nazim, said people selling alcohol illegally would not be spared, especially the ones that adulterate it and play with the lives of innocent people.