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regular-article-logo Friday, 19 July 2024

Over 20 people take ill, at least five dead in Tamil Nadu after suspected consumption of illicit arrack

Chief Minister M K Stalin has ordered a CB-CID probe to ensure comprehensive investigation and the government transferred Kallakurichi District Collector Sravan Kumar Jatavath and Superintendent of Police Samay Singh Meena was suspended

PTI Chennai Published 19.06.24, 08:58 PM
Representational image.

Representational image. File picture.

Over 20 people from Kallakurichi district in the northern part of Tamil Nadu were hospitalised and at least five persons died after suspected consumption of illicit 'packet arrack', officials said on Wednesday.

K Kannukutti (49) has been arrested and an analysis of about 200 litres of illicit arrack seized from him has disclosed presence of deadly methanol, the government said.

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Chief Minister M K Stalin has ordered a CB-CID probe to ensure comprehensive investigation and the government transferred Kallakurichi District Collector Sravan Kumar Jatavath and Superintendent of Police Samay Singh Meena was suspended, a statement said.

Nine other police personnel including those from prohibition wing of Kallakurichi district have been placed under suspension.

Leader of opposition Edappadi K Palaniswami, quoting local news reports, told reporters that approximately 40 people have been hospitalised after drinking illicit arrack.

"Deaths due to illicit arrack consumption is continuing ever since the DMK regime took over and I have been raising the issue and seeking action in state Assembly as well," Palaniswami said and demanded that the state government take tough action on the issue.

"Precious lives of poor people have been lost in Kallakurichi," the former Chief Minister said.

According to the government, more than 20 people, who complained of vomitting and stomach pain were admitted on June 19 in Kallakurichi Medical College Hospital and following a probe by police and revenue officials, it is suspected that they could have consumed 'packet arrack.' Of them, G Praveen Kumar (26), D Suresh (40), K Sekar (59), and two others died. Bodies have been sent for autopsy and the cause of death will be known following completion of postmortem.

Requisite medicine and special teams of government doctors from Villupuram, Tiruvannamalai and Salem have been rushed to Kallakurichi hospital to assist, and supervise treatment. A senior official from Health department has also been deputed.

Also, as many as 18 people have been referred to Puducherry JIPMER Hospital for specialty treatment, and six others to Salem government hospital. As many as 12 ambulances have been stationed at the Kallakurichi government hospital.

CM Stalin rushed senior Ministers EV Velu and Ma Subramanian to Kallakurichi to render all assistance to the affected families.

MS Prasanth and Rajath Chaturvedi have been appointed as the new collector and police superintendent for Kallakurichi district.

PMK founder leader S Ramadoss demanded that Stalin own up responsibility for the deaths. He alleged that the police department and the government is unable to rein in sale of illict arrack.

He urged the government to provide Rs 10 lakh as solatium to the kin of the deceased.

BJP state president K Annamalai said on X, "It is heart-wrenching to see the parents cry out of the pain of losing their child & wife losing her husband due to the consumption of illicit liquor. DMK has not learnt their lesson after the 22 hooch deaths last year & their misgovernance has led to 5 more deaths today. There is zero accountability in the DMK Govt & Ministers do not fear consequences for posing with illicit liquor sellers."

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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