In Hooch Tragedy-Hit Tamil Nadu Village, Bodies Lined Up For Cremation, 3 Children Stare At Dark Future

The hooch tragedy has cast a dark future for three children who found out that their parents - a painter and daily wage labourer - had died after watching news reports on television. All the three children are in school and have no source of income to support themselves.
Kallakurichi mass cremation

The tragedy has led to public anger against the state government, which, critics say has not learnt any lessons.

New Delhi: A pall of gloom descended over Karunapuram village in Tamil Nadu's Kallakurichi district as the bodies of 24 people who died after consuming illicit liquor was lined up for mass cremation. The deceased were among the 49 who passed away after consuming illicit liquor in the state. At least one hundred people are being treated in various hospitals in the state.
The hooch tragedy has cast a dark future for three children who found out that their parents - a painter and daily wage labourer - had died after watching news reports on television. All the three children are in school and have no source of income to support themselves.
At another house in the locality, a mother was seen mourning the loss of her son. "He complained of severe stomach ache and could not open his eyes. We took him to hospital but they did not even admit him saying he is drunk," she wailed.
The tragedy - the second in two years - has led to public anger against the state government, which, critics say has not learnt any lessons. Last year, 22 villagers died after consuming methanol.
Many of the survivors being treated in hospitals have reported breathlessness and loss of vision, and excruciating pain.
Chief Minister MK Stalin has assured strict action against those involved in the illicit liquor trade. The state government has suspended district superintendent of police and several police officers. The Collector has been transferred.
"The government is very concerned as we have lost our own people. The problem is that some people at the junior level in the police are taking money from these people and leaving them. The mindset of the police should also change," DMK leader TKS Elangovan told ANI.
Three suspected bootleggers have been arrested so far. The police are on the hunt for the alleged kingpin, Chinnadurai, who allegedly supplied the distilled arrack that caused the deaths.
The opposition, mwanwhile, has alleged collusion between the ruling DMK and the bootleggers.
"Even before the Marakkanam spurious liquor incident has settled down, we have got this shocking news from Kallakurichi. When these incidents happen, we will have to take into account that this is not a single action of crime, it is a chain of action," VCK (Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi) leader SS Balaji told PTI.
BJP Seeks CBI Probe
Alleging that the sale of illicit liquor took place at the "behest" of ruling DMK functionaries, the BJP on Thursday urged Union Home Minister Amit Shah to order a CBI probe into the hooch tragedy and render justice to the victims.
"Tamil Nadu lost over 60 lives to hooch in the last two years due to the ineffective governance of the DMK," BJP chief K Annamalai stated in the letter.
The points of sale were located close to courts, police stations, and other government offices, Annamalai said, alleging that the production and sale of illicit liquor in Tamil Nadu took place at the "behest" of ruling DMK functionaries.
End of Article
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