Death toll in Kallakurichi hooch tragedy rises to 49

Around 115 others are undergoing treatment in several hospital, several are said to be in critical condition.
The bodies of victims who succumbed after consuming illicit liquor cremated in the Karunapuram area of Kallakurichi on Thursday
The bodies of victims who succumbed after consuming illicit liquor cremated in the Karunapuram area of Kallakurichi on ThursdayPhoto | Sriram R

The death toll in the Kallakurichi hooch tragedy has increased to 49, with ten more people losing their lives after consuming the spurious liquour in Karunapuram, Kallakurichi.

Around 115 others are undergoing treatment at the Kallakurichi Government Medical College and Hospital, and hospitals in Salem, Villupuram, Jipmer in Puducherry.

25 of them are said to be in critical condition.

Chief Minister MK Stalin on Friday reaffirmed that stringent action will be taken against the culprits in Kallakurichi hooch tragedy and urged the opposition parties not to attempt to gain political mileage out of this tragedy.

"I promise the Assembly that I will take stringent action to protect people from anti-social elements. I have the list of deaths that occurred due to illicit liquor during the previous AIADMK regimes. But I don't want to do politics based on these details," the CM said while replying to the special mention on the Kallkurichi tragedy in the Assembly.

Leaders of all political parties except AIADMK took part in the discussion. The AIADMK MLAs were evicted en masse earlier in the day but they did not return to the House even after Speaker M Appavu allowed the AIADMK MLAs to take part in the discussions. Further, the members of the PMK and BJP staged walk out after conveying their views on the issue. Two MLAs supporting former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam - R Vaithilingam and Manoj Pandian - also staged walk out after conveying their views.

CM Stalin on Friday announced additional relief for children orphaned in the incident; full educational support till graduation, Rs.5,000 monthly allowance till 18 for those who lost both parents, also Rs.5 lakh fixed deposit will be made in their name. Rs.3 lakh immediate assistance will be provided for children who lost one of their parents, they will be given priority in welfare schemes.

The bodies of victims who succumbed after consuming illicit liquor cremated in the Karunapuram area of Kallakurichi on Thursday
A sorry tale of overnight orphans: Five below 15 years lose parents to illicit liquor in Kallakurichi

The Madras High Court on Friday has questioned the Tamil Nadu government's response to the recent hooch tragedy in Kallakurichi, emphasizing alleged negligence and demanding accountability for previous incidents. A bench led by Justices D. Krishnakumar and K. Kumaresh Babu, hearing a PIL seeking a CBI probe, pressed for details on actions taken since the last tragedy in 2023, highlighting concerns over illicit liquor sales. The court noted the current incident, and raised questions about arrests, healthcare provisions, and prevention measures. The Court ordered a comprehensive report by June 26.

The bodies of victims who succumbed after consuming illicit liquor cremated in the Karunapuram area of Kallakurichi on Thursday
What measures taken in past year to prevent hooch tragedies: Madras HC to TN government

Leaders of various political parties condemned the Kallakurichi tragedy and many of them have urged the closure of all Tasmac outlets besides taking stringent action to prevent recurrence of such incidents.

BJP state president K Annamalai, CPI state secretary R Mutharasan, PMK founder S Ramadoss, CPM state secretary K Balakrishnan, DMDK general secretary Premalatha Vijayakant, VK Sasikala and others criticised the authorities for their ‘lethargic response’ to the illegal sale of spurious liquor.

The bodies of victims who succumbed after consuming illicit liquor cremated in the Karunapuram area of Kallakurichi on Thursday
Oppn parties in Tamil Nadu slam ‘lethargic response’ to illegal sale of spurious liquor

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