New Delhi, India (BBN) – At least 50 people have death after drinking illegally-distilled liquor in the country’s western Gujarat state, police and news reports said on Wednesday.

The death toll rose after 27 more deaths were reported from different areas in Ahmedabad district of the state since Tuesday evening, Gujarat Director General of Police S S Khandwavala confirmed. Most of the victims were workers.

Local media reports said, one of the worst illicit liquor tragedies in Gujarat has taken toll of 50 persons in the labor area of Ahmedabad and the figure is likely to increase further.

The rising death toll sparked protests from voluntary organizations as well as Gujarat’s main opposition Congress party who have blamed the state administration for the tragedy.

The state government has suspended six police officials and constituted a commission, headed by retired Judge Kamal Mehta, to probe into the tragedy, officials confirmed.

Gujarat Congress President Siddhartha Patel said that the government was hiding the figure of casualties and demanded the resignation of the Home Minister Amit Shah, according to reports.

The sale and consumption of alcohol is banned across Gujarat since the state’s formation in 1960.

Illicit liquor is a flourishing business in India because it is much cheaper than legal alcohol, but contaminated products cause scores of deaths each year.

BBN/SS/SSR/AD-09July09-3:55 am (BST)