A man accused of making toxic home-brewed alcohol that killed more than 170 people has surrendered to Indian authorities after a month-long hunt by police.
Khonra Badshah is the suspected kingpin behind the illegal liquor racket that killed villagers last month in West Bengal state, near the border with Bangladesh.
Many of the victims were labourers and rickshaw drivers too poor to afford branded alcohol, who bought the deadly drink at illegal bars or from bootleggers.
“Noor Islam Fakir, alias Khonra Badshah, surrendered before Diamond Harbour court in the south of the state,” West Bengal police director general Surojit Kar Purokayastha said.
Badshah was produced before judges and taken into police custody on Monday.
Police said he had given himself up after moving between hiding places in recent weeks to evade a massive manhunt.
The home-made brew, or “hooch”, laced with poisonous methanol, killed 172 people in Sangrampur and its surrounding villages.
Methanol is a highly toxic form of alcohol sometimes used as an anti-freeze or fuel, but also added by producers of illegal liquor to increase alcoholic content.
If ingested, it can cause blindness and liver damage and it kills in larger concentrations