Main suspect in the Kallakurichi hooch tragedy was held, let off just days before incident

Three people, including a man called Govindaraj, his wife Vijaya and another person called Thamodhiran, have been arrested in the case so far.
Last Updated : 21 June 2024, 10:15 IST

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Three people, including a man called Govindaraj, his wife Vijaya and another person called Thamodhiran, were arrested for the deaths caused in the Kallakurichi hooch tragedy.

According to The Times of India, the main suspect in the case Govindaraj alias Kannukutt, was arrested just a few days ago for selling liquor illegally, but was let off because only 11 liquor bottles, each of 180 ml, were seized from him.

He had been detained under Goondas Act previously.

ToI further reports two other people called Vidyur Raja and Chinnadurai are suspected to be involved. They used to bring the hooch from villages located in the Kalvarayan Hills.

At least forty-eight people have died so far after consuming spurious liquor in Tamil Nadu's Kallakurichi, located about 200 km away from Chennai. Another 117 people have been admitted to the hospital of which 28 are said to be in a critical condition. The majority of the victims are from Karunapuram village.

The 117 victims who fell sick after consumption of the spurious liquor are being treated at the Kallakurichi Government Medical College and Hospital, and hospitals in Salem, Villupuram, and Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (Jipmer) in Puducherry, The Hindu reported.

The Tamil Nadu government suspended Kallakurichi's District Superintendent of Police Samay Singh Meena and Kallakurichi Collector Sravan Kumar Jatavath after the tragedy.

However, in a ground report from Newslaundry, locals alleged that spurious liquor was sold openly with the knowledge of the police and often by paying them bribes.

Residents claimed that illicit liquor was sold on their streets for as little as Rs 5 per packet, the article noted.

“It would have been better if the state government had taken preemptive action instead of responding after the tragedy. What can you do after all these lives have been lost? I don’t know what the Chief Minister can do now. People here are in deep mourning,” the report quoted a resident of the village.

In a post on 'X', the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin expressed his shock over the incident.

The government announced an ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh each to the next of kin of the victims.

Published 21 June 2024, 10:15 IST

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