20 Jun 2024

Tamil Nadu: 25 die after consuming poisonous liquor in Kallakurichi

On Wednesday night in Kallakurichi, Tamil Nadu, a tragic incident occurred where up to 25 people lost their lives after consuming toxic alcohol. Over 60 people have been hospitalized as a result. Law enforcement has apprehended a suspect named K. Kannukutty (49) in connection with this case, where approximately 200 liters of poisonous liquor containing methanol were seized from him.

In response to the tragedy, CM MK Stalin expressed his shock and sorrow, stating, "I am shocked and saddened to hear the news of the deaths caused by the consumption of poisonous liquor in Kallakurichi. Those responsible for this crime have been apprehended. Action has also been taken against officials who failed to prevent it."

People consumed liquor sold in packets

According to officials, on June 18, people of Karunapuram in Kallakurichi district consumed liquor sold in packets. Most of them were daily wage laborers. By night, these people started having diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain and burning sensation in the eyes.

More than 20 people were admitted to Kallakurichi Medical College Hospital. 18 people were referred to Puducherry JIPMER and 6 people to Salem. 12 ambulances are stationed in Kallakurichi. According to the police, post-mortem of the deceased is being conducted. The real cause of death will be revealed when the report comes.

Officials have said that medicines have been ordered from Villupuram, Tiruvannamalai and Salem. Special teams of doctors have been called to Kallakurichi Hospital. Senior officials of the Health Department are present on the spot.

Investigation handed over to CB-CID, DM-SP removed

The state government has ordered the investigation of the case to be conducted by CB-CID. Along with this, Kallakurichi DM Shravan Kumar Jatawath has been transferred, while SP Samay Singh Meena has been suspended. 

Besides, a total of 9 policemen including the policemen of the prohibition branch of Kallakurichi district have been suspended. CM Stalin sent Ministers EV Velu and Subramaniam to Kallakurichi to assist the affected families. MS Prashant has been appointed as the new collector of the district and Rajath Chaturvedi as SP.

Governor expresses grief 

Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi expressed grief over the incident and expressed serious concern over the continued lapses in the case of poisonous liquor.

He wrote on X, "I am deeply shocked by the news of the death of people due to consumption of poisonous liquor in Kallakurichi. Many more victims are in critical condition and struggling for life. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families. I pray for the speedy recovery of those admitted in hospitals."

He further wrote that sad news of the death of people from various parts of our state due to consumption of poisonous liquor keeps coming. This reflects the continued lapses in preventing the production and consumption of poisonous liquor. This is a matter of serious concern.

Opposition attacks government

The AIADMK has attacked the state government over the deaths of people due to consumption of spurious liquor. Leader of Opposition Edappadi K Palaniswami said that about 40 people were hospitalized after consuming spurious liquor.

Deaths due to consumption of spurious liquor have been continuing since the DMK government came to power. I have also been raising this issue in the state assembly and demanding action. My demand is that the state government should take strict action on this issue.

PMK founder leader S Ramadoss demanded that Stalin take responsibility for the deaths. He alleged that the police department and the government are unable to curb the sale of spurious liquor. He has demanded a compensation of Rs 10 lakh each from the government to the family of the deceased.

BJP state president K Annamalai said on X, "It is heartbreaking to see parents crying in pain of losing their child and wife crying in pain of losing her husband due to consumption of poisonous liquor. DMK has not learnt its lesson after the death of 22 people last year and 25 more deaths have occurred today due to their misrule."

There is no accountability in the DMK government. Their ministers pose for photographs with those selling poisonous liquor. They have no fear, he added.

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