Death toll crosses 50 in Tamil Nadu hooch tragedy | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Death toll crosses 50 in Tamil Nadu hooch tragedy

Jun 22, 2024 03:18 PM IST

The issue had rocked the Tamil Nadu state assembly on Friday with the Opposition AIADM staging a sit-in protest over the tragedy

The death toll in the hooch tragedy in Kallakurichi district of Tamil Nadu has increased to 53 and many people remain under treatment at various hospitals, officials familiar with the matter said on Saturday.

Relatives mourn near the mortal remains of people who died after consuming spurious liquor in Kallakurichi in Tamil Nadu on Friday. (PTI)
Relatives mourn near the mortal remains of people who died after consuming spurious liquor in Kallakurichi in Tamil Nadu on Friday. (PTI)

On Friday, chief minister MK Stalin said in the State Assembly that 47 people had died after consuming methanol-mixed poisonous illicit liquor in Kallakurichi on June 19.

The issue had rocked the state assembly and the Madras high court pulled up the government. The Opposition All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) members were evicted enmasse from the assembly after they staged a sit-in protest over the tragedy.

“This issue cannot be taken lightly by the government. This is about the life of persons. We want to know what action was taken by the governor since the last one year, when a similar incident had taken place,” a high court division bench comprising justices D Krishnakumar and K Kumaresh Babu was quoted as saying by Live Law. It posted further hearing of a public interest litigation filed by AIADMK legal wing secretary I S Inbadurai to June 26.

“A police station is 200 metres away from where illicit liquor was being sold for the last three years,” AIADMK leader and former chief minister Edappadi Palaniswami told reporters. “Imagine the breakdown of governance here. The chief minister must take responsibility and resign,” he added.

However, Stalin slammed the AIADMK for “drama” and the party’s alleged attempt to cause confusion and appealed to the Opposition to not seek political mileage from the grievous incident.

He termed the incident as “painful” and said it “cannot be taken lightly”.

“Forty-seven people have died so far. A preliminary investigation by the revenue and police departments established that methanol was sourced from Puducherry,” he told the House.

He offered condolences to the families of the victims and said the state government will take care of the entire education and hostel expenses of children who have lost either one or both of their parents in the tragedy.

“The government will deposit 5 lakh in the name of the children who lost both parents, which will be given to them with interest after they attain the age of 18,” Stalin said. “ 3 lakh will be given to children who lost one parent. Besides, the government will provide 5,000 each to children who have lost both parents (or) one parent,” he added. The assistance is in addition to the 10 lakh compensation that the government had handed over to the families of the deceased on Thursday.

(With ANI input)

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