Spurious liquor: Eight dead, 40 hospitalised in TN

Following the deaths, Kallakurichi district collector Sravan Kumar Jatavath was transferred and the district’s Superintendent of Police was suspended.
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At least eight persons died and nearly 40 people had to be hospitalised in Kallakurichi of Tamil Nadu, on Wednesday, June 19, after consuming spurious liquor. The district police have arrested one person in connection with the incident. The case has been transferred to the CB-CID for investigation. Kallakurichi District collector Sravan Kumar Jatavath has been transferred and Superintendent of Police (SP) has been placed under suspension. 

A person called Kannukutty (49) has been identified as the peddler who sold the liquor to people in Karunapuram village in Kallakurichi. He was arrested by the Kallakurichi police on Wednesday and 200 litres of liquor packets were seized from him. The police found that Kannukutty had mixed methanol in the country liquor and had sold it in packets. The Tamil Nadu police had previously, in May 2023, issued instructions to curb the sale of methanol in all districts of Tamil Nadu. It may be noted that methanol is one of the key ingredients in making illicit alcohol.

An official press release said several victims had initially been taken to the Government Medical College in Kallakurichi, where four of them passed away earlier today. A special team of doctors have been dispatched from Villupuram and Tiruvannamalai to assist at the Kallakurichi government hospital.

According to reports, a group of daily wage workers had consumed illicit liquor that was sold at Karunapuram. After they reached home, they complained of giddiness, headache and other symptoms, following which they were admitted to a private hospital and then the Kallakurichi Government Hospital.

The Tamil news channel Puthiyathalaimurai said three others are under treatment at Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research (JIPMER). The wife of one of the victims also told the channel that her husband had developed unbearable stomach and chest pain a few hours after he had consumed the alcohol. The victim's body has been sent for post-mortem examination at JIPMER and the reports are awaited.

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