Stringent action will be taken against those responsible for the liquor tragedy: Minister

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Excise Minister P.K. Gurudasan said here on Tuesday that stringent action would be taken against those responsible for the liquor tragedy in Malappuram district.Addressing a press conference here, the Minister said 10 cases had been registered in connection with the tragedy at Kuttipuram, Vandoor and Kalikavu.

The Crime Branch was investigating the case. An analysis conducted at the Kozhikode Medical College had confirmed that the liquor (toddy) contained poisonous methyl alcohol.Mr. Gurudasan said Malappuram Deputy Excise Commisisoner K.R. Jayan and Assistant Excise Commissioner (Enforcement) Mohammed Rasheed had been suspended from service pending inquiry into charges of dereliction of duty. More suspensions will follow after inquiry by the State Excise Commissioner.

He said the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday would consider further assistance to the next of kin of the victims. Assistance would also be considered for those who had suffered loss of eyesight. One person had lost his eyesight totally.He said the liquor was supplied by contractors from Chittur. The shops in question were run by toddy workers themselves. The government had been taking stringent action to check sale of spurious liquor and smuggling of spirit. The licences of four shops at Walancherry had been suspended during Onam festival following seizure of spirit.

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