Hooch tragedy: Police officer, 2 excise officials suspended

2 men in the CBpur taluk have been arrested and four litres of hooch seized

Hooch tragedy: Police officer, 2 excise officials suspended

Victims of the hooch tragedy being treated at the Shidlaghatta Public Hospital on Tuesday. Legislator V Muniyappa is seen. DH Photo

 Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, Deputy Commissioner Anwar Pasha announced the suspension of the Excise Inspector Mylarappa, Sub Inspector T M Sriram  and Dibburahalli Sub Inspector Srinivasappa.

Police have been directed to question candidates who contested the Gram Panchayat elections from Dibburahalli village.

“The police have already started questioning several people in this regard and will arrest all those involved within a day and initiate strict action against them,” Pasha assured.
Preliminary investigations have confirmed that six people died after consuming hooch, while the other deaths may be due to other reasons.

Police have already arrested seven people and another six have been detained for questioning.

Despite closing down all 130 liquor stores and a distillery in the district 48 hours before the elections and appointing a special squad to check the supply of liquor, hooch was supplied in Dibburahalli village leading to the death of six people.

Maintaining that none of the government officials were involved, Pasha blamed the negligence of the Excise Department officials for the incident.

Measures

In the aftermath of the tragedy, the district administration has adopted several measures to check the brewing and supply of hooch.

All liquor shops in Dibburahalli have been closed and hand-outs educating people about the harmful effects of hooch consumption are being distributed. Medical teams are visiting all the houses in the village and carrying out medical tests on those addicted to alcohol. Those  in need of further treatment are being shifted to hospitals immediately.

Till date, 40 people have been hospitalised and discharged after appropriate treatment.
Four doctors and two ambulances have been stationed at the Dibburahalli Primary Health Centre and are on call 24/7.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Dr T D Pawar informed that two persons –– Devappa and Narasimhappa from Doddathammanahalli village in Chikkaballapur taluk have been arrested and four litres of hooch were seized from them.

Deputy Commissioner of the Excise Department Jairam said the department had registered 15 cases for illegal supply of liquor since the beginning of the election process and had seized 10 litres of hooch and 59 litres of spurious liquor.

Assistant Commissioner G V Seenappa was also present at the press conference.

Compensation sought

In the wake of the hooch tragedy in Shidlaghatta taluk legislator V Muniyappa visited the Shidlaghatta Public Hospital on Tuesday and enquired about the health of the victims.
A detailed probe needs to be conducted into the tragedy, he said.

“The death owing to the consumption of spurious liquor in Dibburahalli is saddening. The State government should ensure that the families of hooch victims are given compensation immediately. Those responsible for the hooch tragedy should be arrested and the district administration should ensure that such incidents does not occur in the future,” observed the legislator.

When questioned about the Deputy Commissioner’s order to arrest all the candidates, who contested in the Gram Panchayat elections, Muniyappa said arresting all the candidates was inappropriate.

PLD Bank President Appi Reddy, Zilla Panchayat Standing Committee President N Muniyappa and others were present at the press meet.

District in-charge minister Mumtaz Ali Khan and Chief Whip Shivayogi swamy also visited the village and consoled the family members of the victims. They also promised to take necessary action.

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