ISLAMABAD, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- The death toll from drinking locally-made toxic liquor in Pakistan's eastern Punjab province had reached 42, a Senate committee said on Friday.
Officials said that mostly Christians had consumed toxic liquor during Christmas in Toba Tek Singh district that had prompted calls for strict action against the people involved in selling of home-made liquor.
Several sickened people were still receiving treatment in local hospitals as authorities were investigating the incident.
The Senate Committee on Interior urged the government to investigate and take action against the manufacturers of the illegal liquor and other narcotics.
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Interior and anti-narcotics Rehman Malik confirmed that the death toll had reached 42. He called for severe punishment against members of the drug mafia, saying that narcotics "kill more than terrorism in Pakistan."
He also directed lcoal authorities to submit a detailed report about the incident and conduct of a thorough investigation.
Police said more than 50 residents of Mubarakbad village had taken poisonous home-liquor on Dec. 25 and many suffered stomach problem.
Two Muslims and two liquor sellers were also among those dead.
Several people who were believed to have been involved in manufacturing of the toxic liquor had been taken into custody.