Cuttack, May 6: The Justice A.S. Naidu Commission, probing into the Cuttack-Khurda hooch tragedy, today submitted an interim report to the state government.
The government had appointed the Commission of Inquiry on February 10 to inquire into and report within three months the circumstances and sequence of events leading to the deaths in Cuttack and Khurda districts between February 6 and 9.
“The interim report has been submitted before the chief minister suggesting precautionary measures needed to be taken to avoid further occurrences of the menace,” Justice A.S. Naidu said.
He said: “The commission has not expressed any opinion on latches or deliberate omissions and commissions by officers belonging to different departments.”
“The observations made in the interim report are tentative and based on prima facie materials,” Naidu said, expressing “hope and trust” that the government would take expeditious steps to implement the interim report.
The panel has been asked to report “the source of supply of the product, which caused the death and persons or organisations responsible for supply and sale of such product” and “involvement or negligence of the field officials of the state government in detection and prevention of such malpractices”.
Naidu said the final report would be made based upon the evidence placed before the panel in course of proceedings and cross-examination of the witnesses.
Chemical analysis reports indicated that the Epeecarm bottles seized from the spot of the deaths contained sizeable percentage of methyl alcohol.
Commission secretary Kashinath Panigrahi said: “The panel has fixed May 27 for the next sitting and directed the excise department to furnish by then details of the number of licence-holders for sale of methyl alcohol and denatured spirit in the state and the quantity supplied to each of them for sale.”
The commission had so far received 66 affidavits. Among the nine persons, who filed affidavits today, included the deputy commissioner of police (Cuttack) Pravin Kumar, deputy commissioner of police (Bhubaneswar) Nitinjeet Singh.