Aijaz Rahi/AP

At least two dozen people have been killed and several more blinded by bootleg alcohol in central India.

The death toll has climbed to 29, the Times of India reported on Sunday. Twenty-three of the victims were in Etah district while six died in adjoining border area in the Farrukhabad district.

At least 20 people were admitted to local hospitals, and six were reportedly blinded.

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The owner of an illegal liquor store, Sri Pal, has been arrested, the Times of India reported.

Rahul Gandhi, the Vice-President of the Indian National Congress, expressed his sympathy for the victims.

The Uttar Pradesh administration suspended 12 officials, but the tragedy has already fallen to political infighting as the opposition party blamed the government for allowing the illegal liquor industry.

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Tainted bootleg alcohol is an increasing problem in India, and many blame local officials for ignoring the problem. In 2015, over 100 people were killed in Mumbai by tainted bootleg alcohol.