The death toll from a mass poisoning involving home-brewed alcohol in the western Indian state of Gujarat has risen to 71.

A police officer in the state's largest city, Ahmedabad, said another five people were seriously ill in hospital after consuming the contaminated liquor at a party on Sunday.

The Press Trust of India reported that six police officers in the city had been suspended and transferred for failing to crack down on illegal distilleries.

The state's home affairs minister yesterday announced an inquiry into the easy availability of bootleg liquor in the region.

Selling and consuming alcohol is a criminal offence in Gujarat, which is India's only dry state.

Deaths from cheap alcohol are common in India.

Last year nearly 170 people died after drinking from a single batch of toxic liquor in southern India.