Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala in a press conference at Walayar has called for a judicial investigation into the deaths of five people in Chellankavu, Kanjikode after consuming spurious liquor. He was visiting the protesting parents of the Walayar sisters. Terming the incident, a “tragedy”, Chennithala has also requested the government to provide Rs. 10 lakhs per family as relief.
The deceased, Raman (52), Ayappan (55), Arun (22), Sivan (45) and Moorthy (33) were relatives.
Sivan is reportedly said to have procured the liquor and offered it to his family. He also offered the liquor to nine other people, including three women. The nine were later admitted at the Palakkad District Government Hospital.
Sivan has left behind three young children. His wife had deserted the family years ago. CPM local body members have alleged that the accused Sivan is a Congress member.
The District Child Welfare Council has decided to adopt the children, while the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes Welfare Department has offered to construct a new house for the children as they were living in a thatched house in the tribal colony.
The Ernakulam Excise Department has launched Operation Brigade, a special drive to curb the inflow of hooch into the district and create awareness amongst the residents about the danger involved in consumption of spurious liquor in the wake of the hooch tragedy. The drive is focussed on areas close to the forest and tribal settlements in the district, where it is said that the number of cases of illicit arrack brewing is high.
A month ago, three people including the owner of a homestay at Chithirapuram, Idukki, were admitted in the hospital under critical condition after reportedly consuming hooch. The homestay owner died a few days ago.