Death toll in Tamil Nadu hooch tragedies rises to 14

hooch tragedy
Family members with victims, who fell ill after consuming allegedly spurious liquor, arrive at a hospital in Villupuram district . Photo: PTI

Tamil Nadu: A day after five people died in a hooch tragedy in Villupuram, Tamil Nadu reported another incident at Chengalpattu on Monday. 

So far 14 people have lost their lives after consuming spurious liquor - nine in Villupuram and five in Chengalpattu, police said.

Four police personnel have been suspended in connection with the Villupuram incident, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin said on Sunday. He also announced a relief of Rs 10 lakh each to the families of the victims and Rs 50,000 to those under treatment.

The incident occurred at Ekkiyarkuppam at Marakanam near here on Saturday night and the victims were aged between 45 and 55 years, police said.

Villagers block a road to protest the death of five people after allegedly consuming spurious liquor in Viluppuram, Tamil Nadu on Sunday. Photo: PTI

In Chengalpattu, five people were rushed to hospital as they complained of uneasiness after consuming the liquor. Among them, four died while under treatment. Police said procedures including an autopsy of the deceased have been completed.

Addressing a press conference on Sunday, IG N Kannan said that a person named Ammavasai has been arrested in connection with the Chengalpattu incident.

“In both incidents, a few accused are absconding and special teams have been formed to nab the accused. In both cases, industrial-grade poison alcohol was consumed. Three inspectors and four sub-inspectors have been suspended from both districts for not doing their duty,” he added.

In both Villupuram and Chengelpet, methanol was used to make the brew and empty bottles of alcoholic beverages sold in state-run TASMAC stores were used in Chengelpet to fill the illicit liquor.
"I have ordered Rs 10 lakh solatium to the kin of the deceased in the two incidents. To those who are being treated, Rs 50,000 assistance has been provided," said the chief minister.
Illicit brewers behind the two incidents have been arrested and all steps were being taken to arrest all those responsible, he said.
"To completely prevent use of raw materials used in industries in making illicit brew, in order to find the root cause and eliminate illicit liquor, the investigation into the two incidents will be transferred to the CB-CID."
The Chief Minister said impartial action would be taken against officials for not implementing the government's order to completely end brewing and sale of illicit liquor. Later, he chaired a high level meeting and directed police officials to pay special attention to end illicit liquor. "There should be no kind of compromise on the matter," he warned officials.

Meanwhile, AIADMK chief and Leader of Opposition, K Palaniswami said he had spoken in Assembly on increased "illicit liquor" availability in Tamil Nadu. Had the government taken appropriate action, such incidents could have been averted.
"Chief Minister Stalin is fully responsible. He should resign from his post, he is an inept CM," he told reporters in Tiruchirappalli. He alleged deterioration of law and order situation in the state. BJP state chief K Annamalai also slammed the ruling DMK over the issue.

(With agency inputs)

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