Tamil Nadu

Four Women Amongst 47 Who Died In Tamil Nadu’s Hooch Tragedy

S Rajesh

Jun 21, 2024, 03:39 PM | Updated 03:39 PM IST

Tamil Nadu hooch tragedy
Tamil Nadu hooch tragedy

The death toll due to the hooch tragedy in Tamil Nadu’s Kallakurichi district has risen to 47. Interestingly, four amongst them were women and one was a trans-person.

The death of women has led to cases in which some children have lost both their parents and now have to depend on their aged grandparents or other relatives.

In a tragic mishap, one of the women who died, had consumed the illicit liquor as she had mistaken it for omam (ajwain) water.

The scale of the tragedy—47 dead, 15 in critical condition and over a hundred others admitted to hospitals and the fact that there was a similar incident not too far away from the area, just last year, has led to intense criticism of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) government. 

Coming down heavily on the government, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president K Annamalai had asked Chief Minister M K Stalin to examine if he had the moral right to continue in his post. 

The BJP as well as the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) have announced statewide protests. AIADMK general secretary Edappadi Palaniswami (EPS) and Annamalai visited the victims and expressed their sympathies.

Tamil film actor Joseph Vijay, who had announced that his party, the Tamizhaga Vetri Kazhagam (TVK) would contest elections in 2026, also visited Kallakurichi. 

In a critique of the government, he wrote in a post on X (formerly Twitter), “.....The fact that such an incident has occurred again when people have not yet fully recovered from the tragedy of losing many lives due to a similar incident last year shows the indifference of the government and administration.…”

Apart from the state government, which has announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the families of those who had lost their lives and Rs 50000 to those undergoing treatment, the BJP and the AIADMK too have announced financial support.

While the BJP announced that it would give Rs 1 lakh to the families of those dead, the AIADMK stated that it would bear the educational expenses of children who had lost their parents and provide Rs 5000 per month to each family.

In some progress towards probing the case, the Crime Branch, Crime Investigation Department (CB-CID), has arrested the main accused, Chinnadurai, who is allegedly involved in over 70 cases related to illegal liquor. 

A one-man commission of retired Madras High Court judge B Gokuldas has been announced to conduct an inquiry into the tragedy. The commission has been asked to submit its report in three months.

Also Read: Recurring Hooch Tragedies: Tamil Nadu Has All Problems Of Prohibition Without Actually Having Prohibition

S Rajesh is Staff Writer at Swarajya.

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