Tragedy in Tamil Nadu: Toxic Alcohol Claims Lives of At Least 34 People
Tragedy in Tamil Nadu: Toxic Alcohol Claims Lives of At Least 34 People

At least 34 people have tragically died in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu after consuming toxic bootleg alcohol, local officials reported.

The incident occurred in Kallakuruchi district, where numerous residents fell ill after drinking the illicit liquor on Tuesday night. Currently, at least 80 people are receiving treatment in hospitals for severe symptoms such as excessive diarrhea, and authorities fear that the death toll could rise further.

Two individuals have been arrested in connection with the incident, and a broader investigation is underway. Additionally, authorities have taken action by suspending a senior police official and ten members of the state's prohibition enforcement wing for negligence.

In India, numerous deaths occur annually due to the consumption of bootleg alcohol from illegal distilleries. Bootleggers often add methanol, a highly toxic form of alcohol sometimes used as an anti-freeze, to their concoctions to increase potency. Even in small quantities, methanol can lead to blindness, liver damage, and death.

According to The News Minute website, in Kallakuruchi, the accused allegedly sold the toxic alcohol in packets through a local vendor.

Family members rushed the victims to hospitals after they experienced symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, vomiting, nausea, stomach pain, and eye irritation.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin has announced compensation of 1 million rupees ($12,000; £9,425) to the families of those who have died and 50,000 rupees each to those who are hospitalized. He took to X (formerly Twitter) to state, "Those involved in the crime have been arrested. Action has also been taken against the officials who failed to prevent it."

However, opposition parties have criticized the government for its failure to curb toxic alcohol in the state. K Annamalai, the state chief of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), said, "The deaths caused by illicit liquor in the past two years under the DMK regime have set Tamil Nadu back by four decades, taking us back to the 1980s." He demanded the immediate resignation of the minister responsible for overseeing the sale of alcohol.

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