Karnataka, Tamil Nadu spurious liquor toll climbs to 55 (Second Lead)

May 19th, 2008 - 11:35 pm ICT by admin  

Bangalore/Hosur, May 19 (IANS) At least 55 people, 27 of them in Bangalore, have died in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu after drinking spurious liquor Sunday, the police said here Monday. The toll in Kolar district, 68 km from here, where 20 have died, may go up as around 20 people are in hospital in a serious condition, police and hospital authorities said.

Six people in Bangalore and eight in Kolar have been arrested for the tragedy, the police said. The arrested include women.

The Karnataka government has announced Rs.10,000 as relief to the kin of the dead and also announced that it will bear the expenses for the treatment of those in hospital.

P.K.H. Tharakan, advisor to the Karnataka governor, visited Kolar along with senior police officials Monday and told reporters that the source of the killer brew and the people behind it will be traced soon.

In Bangalore, city police commissioner Neelam Achuta Rao said the police had definite clues about the people behind the tragedy and arrests would be made soon.

Five deaths were reported almost soon after many people consumed the spurious liquor in Devera Jeevana Halli area in Bangalore around 8.30 p.m. local time Sunday.

Angry residents of the area ransacked a liquor shop Sunday night and the police used batons to disperse the crowd. “The situation is peaceful today (Monday),” the police said.

Relatives, particularly women, were hysterical at the state-run Bowring Hospital and at the private Ambedkar Medical College Hospital where the hooch-stricken were admitted Sunday. Many families have lost their sole earning member.

Apart from the dead, over 40 were said to be in a serious condition and on the verge of losing their eyesight, doctors in Bangalore and Hosur hospitals said.

Deputy Inspector General of Police K. Shenbagaraman told reporters in Hosur that a man and a woman are being prosecuted under the Bootleggers’ Act. “We have information that a liquor kingpin and his accomplice have been detained in Bangalore,” he added.

Karnataka Director General of Police Sri Kumar has ordered raids on illicit liquor brewing dens across the state following the incident.

While five people, including a woman, lost their lives in Bangalore late Sunday, 12 died in Kolar, and eight others in neighbouring Tamil Nadu earlier in the day.

Five people died in Narasapur village and five more in Teykal village in Kolar district, and eight, including three women, died in Tamil Nadu’s Anaikaal village, bordering Karnataka.

Dalit residents of Anaikaal drank the liquor in the early hours of Sunday during the 13th-day rituals of a funeral. Three died after drinking what is suspected to be poisonous rectified spirit.

The poisonous liquor was suspected to have been bought in Karnataka by Tamil Nadu residents who regularly buy cheap liquor across the inter-state border.

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