‘Methyl Alcohol behind hooch tragedy'

BHUBANESWAR: The noose has tightened around the Eastern India Pharmaceuticals laboratory with the viscera and latest forensic reports establishing the fact that the liquor deaths were caused b

Published: 17th February 2012 03:16 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 05:57 PM   |  A+A-

BHUBANESWAR: The noose has tightened around the Eastern India Pharmaceuticals laboratory with the viscera and latest forensic reports establishing the fact that the liquor deaths were caused by consumption of deadly methyl alcohol-laced medicinal formulations.

The viscera samples had been sent for testing following the post-mortem on the 31 dead at the SCB Medical College and Hospital. The reports have corroborated that the deaths had been caused by the toxic alcohol used for industrial purpose.

The reports have also been matched up with the samples sent to the State Forensic Science Laboratory by the police. Two samples of the Epeecarm and Cinnamon labelled bottles were collected by police from the major site of the tragedy at Tukulipada under Cuttack Sadar police limits and sent to the SFSL.

The reports obtained on Thursday have also revealed that the formulations had very high content of methyl alcohol.

Police also arrested one Dillip Kumar Padhi from Cuttack, who is alleged to have supplied about 135 litres of alcohol to the company after its permitted stock ran dry. Padhi is among the three suppliers, who are suspected to have pumped in the toxic chemicals to the company.

The reports and the arrests have reportedly lent credence to the police contention that the pharmaceutical company had surreptitiously sourced the toxic alcohol and blended it in the medicinal formulations.

The company is stated to have pushed in 10,000 units of Epeecarm and Cinnamon into the market though it was legally entitled to produce only 6,365 units. The firm had sourced about 1,000 litres of rectified spirit or ethyl alcohol from Shakti Sugar at Dhenkanal which could be used to produce the legally permitted units only.

However, when the stocks ran dry owing to the scarcity of country spirit Aska 40 on account of the blast at Aska molasses tank, the company allegedly ventured to source alcohol illegally to cash in on the opportunity. In the process of bringing in the alcohol for extra production and quick bucks, the company had knowingly or unknowingly got the fatal materials, police sources said.

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