Kallakurichi hooch tragedy: Illicit liquor consumed by victims had 8.6 to 29.7% methanol

In the Villupuram hooch tragedy, the content of methanol in illicit arrack was 99.1% and the source of methanol was also different, Chief Secretary Shiv Das Meena said.
Tamil Nadu: NCW delegation meet families of victims of Kallakurichi hooch tragedy
Tamil Nadu: NCW delegation meet families of victims of Kallakurichi hooch tragedyFile Photo

CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary Shiv Das Meena has informed the Madras High Court that preliminary tests revealed the illicit arrack consumed by the victims of Kallakurichi hooch tragedy had 8.6 to 29.7% methanol. He made the submission in a status report filed through Additional Advocate General J Ravindran before the first bench of Acting CJ R Mahadevan and Justice Mohammed Shaffiq on Wednesday on the action taken so far.

The Chief Secretary affirmed that Kallakurichi hooch tragedy is a separate incident and not a sequel of 2023 incidents in Villupuram where the content of methanol in illicit arrack was 99.1% and the source of methanol was also different.

He went on to say that several measures have been taken to check illegal supply of methanol for arrack manufacturers. "Industrial units using methanol are being checked diligently to prevent pilferage of methanol for use as arrack," the Chief Secretary informed the court.

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Twenty one individuals, six retail sellers, seven transporters and eight suppliers were arrested within six days of occurrence of the tragedy, Meena said, adding that six special teams and three local police teams have swung into action in the probe. Three FIRs were registered and 132 witnesses have been examined so far.

Referring to the allegation that no action was taken to prevent the tragedy even after the local AIADMK MLA had made complaints, the Chief Secretary said there were no records found on this issue. Yet, information received later from the Assembly revealed that the MLA had issued notice for a calling attention motion but was rejected by the Speaker. Such matters would come to the notice of the government only if the Speaker forwards them. In this case, it was not done, the Chief Secretary said in the report.

The court adjourned the case to July 22 after the additional Advocate General J Ravindran sought time citing the inability of the Advocate General PS Raman to appear due to demise of his mother. The petitions were filed by IS Inbadurai of AIADMK and K Balu of PMK seeking a CBI probe into the hooch tragedy. Eom

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