Hooch claims six lives in Kerala, one held

Six people died and five others fell ill after consuming illicit liquor from a toddy shop at Kuttippuram area.

Updated: Sep 06, 2010, 20:57 PM IST

Malappuram: Six people died and five others fell ill after allegedly consuming illicit liquor from a toddy shop at Kuttippuram area here on Monday, police said. The bodies of two persons were recovered from Kuttippuram Railway station premises, while four others died at a hospital, they said.

Five persons who complained of exhaustion and nausea after consuming the liquor were admitted to a hospital, police said. The manager of the toddy shop has been arrested, they
said.
Kerala Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said murder charges would be framed against the culprits if investigations proved that the deaths were caused by illicit brew. "The investigation is on. If it is proved that the deaths were due to consumption of illicit liquor, stringent action, including slapping murder charges, would be taken against those behind the sale of the toddy," Balakrishnan, who visited the area, told reporters.

Following the incident, excise officials sealed some toddy shops in Perassanoor and Kuttipuram areas, police said. Kerala Excise Minister P K Gurudasan has ordered an
inquiry into the tragedy, officials said, adding that the Excise Commissioner has been asked to submit a preliminary report about the incident.
Meanwhile, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Ramesh Chennithala alleged that illicit liquor was "flowing freely" in the state and demanded a judicial inquiry.

Accusing the LDF Government of failure to control liquor and spirit mafia, Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Oommen Chandy also demanded a judicial inquiry.

PTI