Tamil Nadu hooch tragedy: Death toll rises to 35

A person undergoes treatment after consumption of spurious liquor, in Kallakurichi distict of Tamil Nadu, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Photo: PTI

Kallakurichi (Tamil Nadu): Thirty five people have died after consuming illicit 'packet arrack' in Kallakurichi, district collector M S Prasanth said on Thursday. Speaking to reporters here, the top district official said that 109 people are being treated in a number of hospitals and the status of those in a critical stage 'keeps changing' and it would be updated later.

State Minister (Highways) EV Velu said two women and one transgender were among the victims. Prasanth further said sufficient medical professionals, including specialists from nearby government medical colleges have been deployed in the district to handle the situation, even as more number of ambulances with life-support have been stationed.

Briefing reporters here, senior Minister EV Velu said it should not be assumed as if 'illicit arrack sale' has happened only under the DMK rule and such incidents have been occurring during all the regimes. "Every government (be it DMK or AIADMK governments) has taken tough action, this government has been taking stern action continuously." Furthermore, he told reporters: "As far as the government is concerned there is no necessity for it to encourage illicit liquor peddlers and we are taking tough action."

"The government will not spare anyone," he said, adding two women and one transgender were among the victims. "I don't like to justify the mistake, this incident must not have happened and since this has happened the chief minister has directed tough action."

Be it brewers of illicit arrack or those who sell it, the government has been taking stern action including under Goondas Act. Velu and Health Minister Ma Subramanian are camping in Kallakurichi to render help to the affected people.

Actor-politician Vijay, Tamilaga Vettri Kazhagam chief blamed the negligence of the government for the incident and demanded that the state take 'tough' precautionary measures to prevent recurrence.
(With PTI inputs.)

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