Tamil Nadu hooch tragedy: Madras High Court to hear petition tomorrow on Kallakurichi illicit liquor case

The Madras High Court has agreed to urgently hear pleas filed by Tamil Nadu AIADMK advocates regarding the Kallakurichi illicit liquor tragedy. The court's division bench will hear the petition tomorrow.

Livemint
First Published20 Jun 2024, 11:19 AM IST
 On Thursday, AIADMK requested the Madras High Court to take up an urgent petition on the Kallakurichi illicit liquor tragedy issue for a hearing. (Photo: File)
On Thursday, AIADMK requested the Madras High Court to take up an urgent petition on the Kallakurichi illicit liquor tragedy issue for a hearing. (Photo: File)(HT_PRINT)

The Madras High Court division bench, comprising Justices D Krishnakumar and K Kumaresh Babu, has agreed to hear an urgent petition regarding the Kallakurichi illicit liquor tragedy. The petition, filed by AIADMK advocates, is scheduled for tomorrow, June 21, reported ANI

At least 31 people have died, and over 60 were hospitalised after consuming spurious liquor in the state on Tuesday night, Reuters reported.

Since Wednesday, more than 100 people suffering from vomiting, stomach ache and diarrhoea have been admitted to hospitals in the Kallakurichi district, 250 km by road from the state capital Chennai.

“I was shocked and saddened to hear the news... Action has also been taken against the officials who failed to prevent it,” Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin said on Wednesday in a post on X (Twitter).

“The state government suspended at least ten officials, including the district's collector and police chief, over the illicit liquor incident,” according to a statement.

Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin announced 10 lakhs each for the family of the deceased and 50,000 each for the people under treatment. The Tamil Nadu government has ordered a judicial inquiry into the matter by former Madras HC judge Justice B Gokuldas, who will submit the report within three months.

How did the opposition react?

BJP Mahila Morcha national president and party MLA Vanathi Srinivasan described it as a complete failure of the administration and said this has not happened for the first time.

“It is the second biggest incident that is happening in Tamil Nadu within a very short period of time. BJP is raising its concern about the drugs and other related issues. Such a tragedy is happening even though the government is running TASMAC shops,” she told ANI.

Union Minister L Murugan commented that it was a “very shocking news from the state of Tamil Nadu”.

“In Kallkurichi, more than 30 people died in illicit liquor case. More than 70 people are under treatment. State Government and CM MK Stalin are inefficient. He is unable to control the officers, unable to control illicit liquor. Last year, such an incident happened in the nearby district. There also, they didn't take any stringent action. It is happening continuously. Innocent people are dying because of illicit liquor. Minister S Muthusamy should resign because he is unfit to hold this office. CM is responsible, they have to answer the public,” Murugan told ANI.

Deaths related to spurious liquor consumption are tragically frequent in India, particularly among the economically disadvantaged who cannot afford licensed government-sold brands. Illicit liquor, often laced with dangerous chemicals like pesticides to enhance potency, has burgeoned into a lucrative underground industry, AP reported.

Bootleggers operate without tax obligations, selling large volumes of their product at low prices to vulnerable populations.

In 2022, Bihar state witnessed over 30 fatalities linked to unauthorised liquor consumption. Gujarat reported at least 28 deaths earlier in the year due to altered liquor, while Punjab saw a devastating toll of at least 120 deaths in 2020 from tainted liquor consumption.

(With inputs from agencies)

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First Published:20 Jun 2024, 11:19 AM IST
HomeNewsIndiaTamil Nadu hooch tragedy: Madras High Court to hear petition tomorrow on Kallakurichi illicit liquor case

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