At least 3,000 suspected bootleggers have been arrested after a batch of illegal alcohol killed more than 100 people in India.

According to NDTV, the alcohol which  is believed to have been laced with methanol was first drunk at a funeral ceremony held in the city of Haridwar where 36 people were later confirmed dead and a further 18  hospitalized.

A further 69 people are feared to have died after sachets of the alcohol were  taken to the neighbouring state of Uttar Pradesh. Many of those killed had complained of stomach pains and respiratory problems.

The sad development is believed to be the deadliest since 2011, when a batch of bootlegged booze killed 172 people in West Bengal.

Deaths from illegally made or adulterated alcohol often referred to as ‘hooch’ or ‘country liquor’ are common in India because licensed brands are often out of the reach of the poor.

Although bootleg alcohol is cheap and often has chemicals added to increase its strength and longevity, its sale and consumption has however been banned in some states like Bihar.