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Tamil Nadu Illicit Liquor Case: Death Toll Reaches 47; Three Accused Sent To 15-Day Judicial Custody

IndiaTamil Nadu Illicit Liquor Case: Death Toll Reaches 47; Three Accused Sent To 15-Day Judicial Custody

Tamil Nadu Director of Medical Education Sangumani announced on Friday that 47 people have died after consuming illicit liquor in the Kallakurichi district.

The Tamil Nadu Assembly session began in Chennai amidst chaos, with AIADMK legislators dressed in black, raising slogans over the tragedy. Speaker Appavu ordered the eviction of AIADMK MLAs by the watch and ward staff. Visuals from outside the Assembly showed AIADMK members being escorted out by security personnel, with a heavy police presence outside.

The previous day’s Assembly session concluded with respects paid to the Kallakurichi victims, 17 former legislators, and sitting DMK MLA Pugazhenthi who had passed away. Legislators also paid tribute to victims of a blaze in Kuwait, which included seven people from Tamil Nadu. State Assembly Speaker Appavu read the obituary note, followed by a moment of silence.

The Assembly session is scheduled to continue until June 29.

Earlier, three accused in the Kallakurichi illicit liquor case were sent to 15 days of judicial custody and taken to Cuddalore Central Prison. The accused, identified as Govindaraj, Damodaran, and Vijaya, were produced before the Kallakurichi Combined District Court.

Tamil Nadu BJP President Annamalai wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, requesting a CBI inquiry into the Kallakurichi deaths. Annamalai accused the ruling DMK government of involvement, alleging collusion between DMK members and local liquor sellers. He cited a similar incident in May 2023 in Marakkanam, Villupuram district, and Chengalpattu district, which claimed 23 lives. Annamalai claimed that over the past two years, Tamil Nadu has lost more than 60 lives to hooch due to ineffective governance by the DMK government. He alleged that illicit liquor production and sale in Tamil Nadu were happening with the knowledge of local political leaders and police.

Chief Minister MK Stalin announced a judicial inquiry into the tragedy, led by retired Madras High Court judge Justice B. Gokuldas, with a report due in three months. The Chief Minister also announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 10 lakh to the kin of each deceased victim and Rs 50,000 to those undergoing treatment.

Victims are currently receiving treatment at the Kallakurichi Government Medical College and Hospital, as well as in hospitals in Salem, Villupuram, and the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER) in Puducherry.

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