By INDRAJIT SINGH
PATNA, India (AP) — A government hospital chief says at least 17 people have died and 20 others are hospitalized in serious condition after allegedly drinking tainted liquor sold without authorization in eastern India. The deaths occurred on Tuesday and Wednesday in three villages in Saran district of Bihar state. Police officer Santosh Kumar said several of the 20 hospitalized have lost their eyesight. Deaths from illegally brewed alcohol are common in India, where illicit liquor is cheap and often spiked with chemicals such as pesticides to increase potency. In 2020, at least 120 people died after drinking tainted liquor in India’s northern Punjab state.