CUTTACK: Justice AS Naidu, who is heading the judicial commission of inquiry into the liquor tragedy in Cuttack and Khurda districts, on Sunday visited Tukulipada for an on-the-spot examination of the situation.
Tukulipada, under Cuttack Sadar police limits, was the epicentre of the tragedy, accounting for the maximum number of deaths due to consumption of spurious liquor-laced medicinal formulations.
Justice Naidu visited the house of Baidhar Bhoi who had allegedly supplied the fatal concoction in the area.
Accompanied by the Cuttack DCP and Excise officials, Justice Naidu went around the entire village and tried to talk to family members of the victims as well as some survivors.
While some of the villagers described the incident that has claimed 36 lives so far to the Commission, several others, intriguingly, were not forthcoming.
Justice Naidu tried to speak to wife of one Kabindra Bhoi, a victim. But she reportedly shied away from saying anything on the issue.
The Commission also sent a message to one Sukant Bhoi, who survived the tragedy and recovered after being treated at the SCB Medical, Cuttack, to present himself. He too reportedly did not turn up.
Justice Naidu, however, visited all the sites in the village where bottles of Epeecarm, Cinnamon and Orange Tincture BP were concealed or were destroyed in the aftermath of the deaths. He examined the ‘bunker’ in the house of Baidhar where the bottles were hidden under heaps of sand. He also went to the well where more than 100 bottles of the medicines were found to have been concealed.
The Commission then went to a couple of other villages, Balianta Bazaar and the Hi-Tech Medical College and Hospital near Bhubaneswar. Around three persons had died in the hospital during treatment. Justice Naidu collected documents and discussed the cases with the doctors.
The Commission had started its probe on Saturday from the SCB. Justice Naidu had perused the postmortem reports and held meetings with the hospital authorities and treating doctors about condition, symptoms and other aspects of the patients when they were first brought in on February 7.
The Commission will probe the causes and the circumstances under which the tragedy occurred. It will probe the complicity of Government officials and agencies, if any, in the tragedy while tracing the roots of the illicit activity in the State. It will submit its report in six months.