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Tamil Nadu: Death toll rises to 56 in Kallakurichi Hooch tragedy

Photo Credit: ANI

The tragic toll from the Kallakurichi hooch incident in Tamil Nadu has risen to 50, with an additional 13 fatalities attributed to the consumption of adulterated alcohol in Karunapuram. Among those who lost their lives were five women and one transgender individual.

The majority of the deaths occurred overnight between Thursday and Friday, primarily affecting residents of Karunapuram. The Government Kallakurichi Medical College Hospital reported 27 fatalities, while 16 deaths were recorded at the Government Mohan Kumaramangalam Medical College Hospital in Salem. Additionally, four individuals succumbed at the Government Villupuram Medical College Hospital, and three at the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER) in Puducherry.

Presently, 135 others, including six women, are undergoing treatment at various medical institutions such as the Government Kallakurichi Medical College Hospital, hospitals in Salem and Villupuram, and JIPMER in Puducherry.

In response to the crisis, a team of 71 specialized doctors from medical colleges and hospitals in Salem, Villupuram, Tiruvannamalai, Tiruchi, and Chengalapttu has been mobilized to support operations at the Kallakurichi hospital.

Former High Court judge B. Gokuldas, appointed by the state government to investigate the incident, commenced the inquiry by visiting the Kallakurichi Government Medical College Hospital and Karunapuram. During his visit, he engaged with patients and their families, discussing the timeline of events, progress in the investigation, and measures undertaken by law enforcement and administration.

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu’s Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ma. Subramanian visited JIPMER in Puducherry to oversee the care provided to victims.

Authorities have taken action by arresting another suspect, Joseph alias Raja from Sankarapuram, for his alleged involvement in distributing the illicit alcohol. According to reports, Joseph supplied the substance to Chinnadurai, who then distributed it to bootlegger Govindaraj alias Kannukutty. Chinnadurai, Govindaraj, and two others have already been apprehended in connection with the incident.

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