Stalin vows action against Kallakurichi hooch tragedy culprits; urges opposition not to politicise incident

CM Stalin pledges tough action against anti-social elements following Kallakurichi tragedy, refrains from politicising AIADMK-era illicit liquor deaths.
Police personnel and others stand outside the emergency medicine department at a government hospital where patients are being treated after consuming spurious liquor, in Kallakurichi, Friday, June 21, 2024.
Police personnel and others stand outside the emergency medicine department at a government hospital where patients are being treated after consuming spurious liquor, in Kallakurichi, Friday, June 21, 2024.PTI

CHENNAI: 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.

Police personnel and others stand outside the emergency medicine department at a government hospital where patients are being treated after consuming spurious liquor, in Kallakurichi, Friday, June 21, 2024.
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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.

Giving a detailed account on the action taken in the Kallakurichi hooch tragedy, the CM pointed out to demands that he should take responsibility for what had happened in Kallakurichi. "As not just the person handling the home portfolio, but as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, I am not the one to run away from problems. It is because of realising my responsibility that I am providing answers responsibly. I have listed the actions taken. I am answering you after arresting the culprits responsible. I have been taking action against the offenders with an open mind and with an iron hand," he added.

Police personnel and others stand outside the emergency medicine department at a government hospital where patients are being treated after consuming spurious liquor, in Kallakurichi, Friday, June 21, 2024.
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The CM announced additional relief assistance to the children who lost both or one of their parents in the incident. The government will bear the educational expenses, including hostel fees and other expenses, of these children till their graduation. The government will pay Rs.5,000 per month as maintenance allowance till the age of 18 to those children who have lost both their parents and have to grow up under the care of a guardian.

For those children who have lost both fathers and mothers, a fixed deposit of Rs.5 lakh will be made and the amount will be given to them with interest when they turn 18. Similarly, for the children who have lost either their father or their mother, Rs.3 lakh will be given as financial assistance immediately. Besides, priority will be given to these children in all welfare schemes of the government. Depending on the children’s preferences, they can be admitted to the government and government-aided hostels or homes.

Moreover, the CM said based on the recommendations of the Gokuldas inquiry commission, the government would take further actions to prevent such incidents in the future.

Police personnel and others stand outside the emergency medicine department at a government hospital where patients are being treated after consuming spurious liquor, in Kallakurichi, Friday, June 21, 2024.
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