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"When people don't have money...": DMK leader on Kallakurichi hooch tragedy

Chennai: Amid backlash over the Kallakurichi hooch tragedy where at least 34 people were killed, ruling DMK leader TKS Elangovan on Thursday said that people consume "cheap illicit liquor" when they don't have money.
The DMK leader further urged people to understand that they should not consume illicit liquor as it can adversely impact their families.
At least 34 people died and over 60 people were hospitalized after allegedly consuming illicit liquor in the Kallakurichi district last night.
"The government is very concerned as we have lost our people. The CM called a meeting of the senior officials this morning, soon after the assembly was adjourned. Local people in the area should complain to the police and the police should take action. 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," Elangovan told ANI.
"When people don't have money, they go for cheap illicit liquor. People should understand that if they resort to such things, it will take away their lives and their family will suffer," he added.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin has announced Rs 10 lakh each to the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for those undergoing treatment. Stalin formed an inquiry commission on the Kallakurichi Hooch tragedy.
Following the incident, the Tamil Nadu government announced the transfer of District Collector Sravan Kumar Jatavath and suspended Superintendent of Police Samay Singh Meena. MS Prasanth and Rajat Chaturvedi were named as their replacements.
This also sparked a political row, with AIADMK General Secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami criticizing the ruling DMK government and calling for Chief Minister MK Stalin's resignation.
"Nearly 200 people are affected, 133 are under treatment. One by one people are coming to the hospital. Kallakurichi is the epic centre for illicit. It's making us sad and worrying. All dead and affected are poor and underprivileged," Palaniswami said at a press conference.
"This is not the first time, already in Villuppuram, 22 people lost their lives due to the same illicit liquor and it was given to CBCID for investigation and nobody knows what happened. At that time too I pointed out that there is a large amount of sale of illicit liquor in Tamil Nadu. Not only Kallakurichi but all over the state, drugs are being sold," he added.
He also alleged that in Tiruchankode, the illicit liquor was sold by a DMK councillor.
"DMK is behind illicit liquor sales in Tamil Nadu. Stalin should resign since there is mismanagement and many deaths," the AIADMK chief said.
AIADMK advocates have requested the Madras High Court to take up an urgent petition on the Kallakurichi illicit liquor tragedy issue for hearing.
The Madras High Court division bench of Justices D Krishnakumar and K Kumaresh Babu has agreed to hear it on June 21.

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