15 May 2023

Tamil Nadu's hooch tragedy: Toll mounts to 14; CM Stalin orders probe by CB-CID

Chennai: The death toll in Tamil Nadu's hooch tragedy in two northern districts mounted to 14 on Monday. As many as 51 people who consumed the poisonous brew are undergoing treatment in various hospitals.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin visited victims at Mundyambakkam Government Medical College.

Stalin told reporters that investigation into the matter would be transferred to the CB-CID and he assured tough action.


Use of methanol by illicit brewers led to tragedy

According to preliminary police probe, use of methanol by illicit brewers has led to the tragedy.

After consuming illicit liquor, nine persons died in Villupuram district and five others in Chengelpet district.

The nine persons belonged to Ekkiyarkuppam fishing village near Marakkanam in Villupuram district.

In Villupuram, 40 persons are being treated at the medical college hospital in Villupuram at Mundiyampakkam.

Three others were being treated at JIPMER Hospital and another person at Puducherry government hospital.

Stalin said in Chengelpet district's Perunkaranai village five persons died after drinking illicit brew and seven persons were being treated at the Chengelpet government medical college hospital.

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.


Rs 10 lakh assistance to kin of deceased

"I have ordered Rs 10 lakh assistance to the kin of the deceased in the two incidents. To those who are being treated, Rs 50,000 assistance has been provided."

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.


Villupuram SP suspended

Villupuram superintendent of police N Shreenatha, among others officials, was placed under supension while his Chengapattu counterpart A Pradeep was transferred

PMK founder leader S Ramadoss demanded that the government uproot the illicit liquor network in the State.

He urged the government to close down state-run TASMAC liquor outlets and make the state liquor free.


Palaniswami demands CM's resignation


All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief and Leader of Opposition, K Palaniswami said he had spoken in assembly on increased availability of "illicit liquor" in Tamil Nadu. Had the government taken action at that time, such incidents could have been averted.

Palaniswami said CM Stalin was fully responsible. He demanded his resignation from the post. He said law and order situation in the state had worsened. BJP state chief K Annamalai also slammed the ruling DMK over the issue.

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