HomeWhat's Trending37 Dead After Consuming Toxic Liquor in Tamil Nadu

37 Dead After Consuming Toxic Liquor in Tamil Nadu

In a tragic incident, 37 people have died after consuming toxic liquor in Tamil Nadu’s Kallakurichi district, 250 km from Chennai. Over the past few days, 55 others have been hospitalised, with 18 shifted to JIPMER in Puducherry and six to the Medical College and Hospital in Salem.

Victims primarily hailed from the Karunapuram area. A grieving mother said, ‘My son complained of severe stomach pain and couldn’t open his eyes. The hospital initially refused to admit him, claiming he was drunk. The state must shut all liquor shops.

Police have arrested a suspected bootlegger and detained two others. A senior officer confirmed the deaths were due to toxic liquor consumption, noting, ’We are investigating the exact substance. Three people are in custody.’

Forensic tests revealed poisonous methanol in the array consumed. Consequently, the state government suspended district police chief Samay Singh Meena and replaced him with Rajat Chaturvedi. Collector Sravan Kumar Jatavath was replaced by MS Prasanth. Several prohibition enforcement officers were also suspended.

Chief Minister MK Stalin expressed his sorrow on X, promising strict action. He ordered an inquiry by retired Madras High Court judge Justice B Gokuldas and announced a ₹10 lakh compensation for each victim’s family. Two ministers, including Health Minister Ma Subramaniam, have been dispatched to ensure medical aid.

Stalin also mandated the arrest of illegal liquor brewers and methanol sellers, and the destruction of methanol stocks. Initial reports of the tragedy emerged after three people died in separate locations over three days. Despite rumours of toxic liquor, former Collector Sravan Kumar Jatavath initially denied such claims.

The incident highlights significant failures by intelligence agencies and the prohibition enforcement wing. Last year, 22 people died in Tamil Nadu from methanol consumption.

Opposition leaders criticised the ruling DMK. AIADMK chief Edappadi K Palaniswami accused the government of failing to address the toxic liquor issue despite previous warnings. BJP state chief K Annamalai echoed these sentiments, stating the DMK hadn’t “learnt its lesson.”

Governor R N Ravi expressed serious concern over the recurring lapses in preventing illicit liquor production and consumption, calling for immediate action to address the ongoing crisis.


Akash G Varadaraj