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Death count in Kallakurichi hooch tragedy rises to 53, confirms District Collector

Till now four persons linked to the sale of poisonous arrack have been arrested.

Edited By: Nivedita Dash @Nivedita0503 Kallakurichi (Tamil Nadu) Updated on: June 22, 2024 13:03 IST
Health officials interact with locals after the recent
Image Source : PTI Health officials interact with locals after the recent liquor tragedy in Kallakurichi

Kallakurichi hooch tragedy: Fifty-three people belonging to Kallakurichi district have died following consumption of 'methanol mixed arrack,' District Collector MS Prashanth confirmed on Saturday. Chief Minister MK Stalin said four persons linked to the sale of poisonous arrack have been arrested so far and announced Rs 10 lakh assistance to each of the families of 53 people who died after consuming illicit arrack.

Stalin also directed officials to notify a one-man commission to be led by retired Madras High Court Judge B Gokuldas to make recommendations to the government on measures to be taken to prevent recurrence of such incidents and also look into the reasons for the Kallakurichi deaths. Also, he announced Rs 50,000 assistance to those who are being treated in hospitals. Also, the CM said the state Home Secretary and Director General of Police will submit a report on the hooch tragedy following inspection.

Director of National Commission for Scheduled Castes, S. Ravivarman says, "The doctors are working well. They have saved so many people. When the people came in time, they were saved. The people who came late, they could not be saved...Almost all the people (at the hospital) are safe, except 6 who are in critical condition...They (victims) live in remote village, they are illiterate, they don't have enough money and knowledge to go and purchase methanol from the industry. It (creating awareness) is in the hands of political leaders, they should be the model for people...It (report) will take 1-2 days."

BJP demands CBI probe

However, the BJP has attacked the rulling DMK in the state and has urged Union Home Minister Amit Shah to order a CBI probe into the Kallakurichi hooch tragedy and render justice to the victims.

Apprising Shah of the latest development in the state, BJP chief K Annamalai said spurious liquor claimed 36 "invaluable" lives at Karunapuram in Kallakurichi district and over 90 people were being treated in various government hospitals. "It is feared that the death toll may increase further," Annamalai said in a letter addressed to the Home Minister. A similar incident occurred in May 2023 in Marakkanam (Villupuram district) and Chengalpattu district where 23 lives were lost. "Tamil Nadu lost over 60 lives to hooch in the last two years due to the ineffective governance of the DMK," he stated in the letter.

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