Kallakurichi hooch tragedy: Breakthrough in probe still elusive; 55 dead in four days

The Kallakurichi district police had already arrested Govindharaj alias Kannukutty, his wife Vijaya, and brother Dhamodhiran.
AIADMK MLAs led by party general secretary EPS stage a walkout from the Assembly on Saturday
AIADMK MLAs led by party general secretary EPS stage a walkout from the Assembly on SaturdayPhoto | P Jawahar

CHENNAI: Four days after the Kallakurichi hooch tragedy in which 55 people had died so far and more than 150 people are still hospitalised, breakthrough in investigation still seems elusive. The CB-CID, which is probing the case, is yet to make public the progress of investigation in the case.

Though agency officials remain tight-lipped, sources said at least seven people have been arrested in the case so far, and two more are under the scanner.

The Kallakurichi district police had already arrested Govindharaj alias Kannukutty, his wife Vijaya, and brother Dhamodhiran. Police have also arrested Madhan of Puducherry and one of his accomplices from the Union Territory, sources said.

Chief Minister M K Stalin on Friday told the Tamil Nadu Assembly that 200 litres of illicit liquor mixed with methanol has been seized from them. Sources said police are probing the role played by Madhan in supplying methanol from Puducherry to Kallakurichi.

AIADMK MLAs led by party general secretary EPS stage a walkout from the Assembly on Saturday
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Another person under the agency’s scanner is Chinnadurai, a resident of Kallakurichi, who allegedly acted as the middleman between Madhan and Govindharaj. His accomplice Madhesh has also been picked up from Chennai, sources said. Police are also probing the role of Madhesh and Joseph Raja of Kallakurichi, sources said.

The investigators are working to find out how methanol from defunct factories in Madhavaram near Chennai, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry was procured by the accused for being mixed with the locally brewed illicit liquor, sources said.

During his address in the Assembly on Friday, Stalin had mentioned about two illicit liquor cases being investigated by the CB-CID in Chengalpattu and Villupuram district that were booked last year. In the Villupuram case, 21 people had been arrested and eight were jailed under the Goondas Act and 16 police personnel were facing departmental action.

The chargesheet has been filed in the case, the CM said. In the Chengalpattu case, nine accused have been arrested, five have been jailed under Goondas Act and action has been initiated against six police personnel.

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AIADMK walks out; CBI probe demand rejected

AIADMK members led by Edappadi K Palaniswami staged a walkout from the Assembly for the second day on Saturday after their demand to discuss Kallakurichi incident during question hour was rejected by Speaker. Law minister Regupathy also rejected the opposition’s request for a CBI probe |

Min: ‘Med expert’ EPS confused about drugs Rejecting Edappadi

K Palaniswami’s allegations about lack of adequate antidote stocks in government hospitals to treat methanol poisoning in the state, health minister Ma Subramanian said the opposition leader, who is a ‘medical expert’, is confused over drugs ‘omeprazole’ and ‘fomepizole’

2 MLAs reject charge of nexus with accused

DMK’s Sankarapuram MLA T Udhayasuriyan and Rishivandiyam MLA K Karthikeyan on Saturday said they would quit public life if PMK founder S Ramadoss and party president Anbumani Ramadoss can prove their allegations about the MLAs’ nexus with illicit liquor sellers in Kallakurichi

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