• Thursday, July 25, 2024

INDIA

Tamil Nadu illicit liquor deaths: Seven arrested as toll touches 53

One official said 193 people fell ill after consuming the spurious alcohol and of them, only 140 were safe.

A family member weeps next to the body of a victim who died after consuming toxic alcohol in Kallakurichi district of India’s Tamil Nadu state on June 20, 2024. (Photo by R.SATISH BABU/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

SEVEN people were arrested in connection with the recent spurious liquor incident in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu as the death toll touched 53, officials said on Saturday (22).

The tragedy took place in Kallakurichi district of the state earlier this week.

The district’s collector MS Prasanth said out of 193 people who fell ill after consuming the liquor and went to hospitals, only 140 were safe, Asian News International reported. The rest of the people died.

“193 people who have consumed illicit liquor have come to the hospital. Out of 193, 140 are currently safe, while few of them are on ventilators. Right now, 53 people have passed away,” Prasanth was quoted as saying.

Read: Ahead of mega business summit, Gujarat permits liquor consumption in GIFT City

He also said that the case was handed over to the crime branch, criminal investigation department, of the Tamil Nadu Police.

Prasanth added that those who fell ill were undergoing treatment and special doctors were attending them in the initial stage.

Read: ‘Liquor unites people’, says India minister at de-addiction programme; called ‘cartoon’ by opposition

The collector said many patients had recovered as well.

Meanwhile, the authorities in Tamil Nadu’s Tiruchirapalli district said 250 litres of illicit alcohol were seized and disposed off in the wake of the tragedy in Kallakurichi.

The incident triggered a political row in the state with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) government led by chief minister MK Stalin facing the Opposition’s ire. Stalin vowed to take strong action against the culprit and announced monetary compensation for the kin of the deceased and those who fell ill. He also mentioned that the state government will cover the costs of education and hostel accommodations for children who have lost one or both parents in the tragedy.

Udhayanidhi Stalin, son of MK Stalin and a cabinet minister in his government, on Thursday (20) met families of the victims of the tragedy and paid final tributes to those who died. He also went to hospitals to see those who were undergoing treatment.

Ruckus was witnessed in the assembly of Tamil Nadu, as members of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) raised slogans seeking discussion on the tragedy.

On Friday (21), AIADMK’s general secretary Edappadi Palaniswami was detained while protesting against the DMK government in state capital Chennai in connection with the liquor tragedy.

(With ANI inputs)

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