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New Delhi - At least 28 people have died after consuming illegally-brewed alcohol in northern India, police said Friday.

The deaths were reported in two separate areas in adjoining districts of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand states.

The victims had consumed the toxic alcohol late Thursday and police are working on the assumption that it may have come from the same source.

Twelve deaths were reported from two adjacent villages in Uttarakhand, a police official said. At least eight others in the villages were in serious condition.

Sixteen deaths were reported from a cluster of villages in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, police official Vidyasagar Mishra said, adding that several people were being treated in hospital and some were in critical condition.

An average of 1 000 people, mostly from poorer sections of society, die in India each year after consuming illegally-brewed alcohol, according to the National Crime Records Bureau.

The liquor is usually made with poor-quality ingredients and sometimes mixed with industrial alcohol and toxic substances. Deaths as a result of consuming such alcohol hit the headlines regularly.

In some of the worst cases of such poisoning, 200 people died in 1992 in Odisha state, 180 in West Bengal in 2011 and 100 in the city of Mumbai in 2015.

dpa