Minister for Mines and Geology and Krishna district in-charge Galla Aruna Kumari has said it is unfortunate that some women are among the victims of hooch tragedy that took place at Poratanagar and Kanemerla thandas in Krishna district.

Ms. Aruna Kumari, along with Minister for Secondary Education, K. Parthasarathi, visited the families of 19 persons who died after consuming illicit liquor on December 31.

Addressing people in the thandas, she said it was unfortunate that women, who should have stopped their husbands from consuming liquor, were themselves victims to it. While six women died after consuming hooch, another five were battling for their lives in hospitals, she said.

The Ministers distributed cheques for Rs. 2 lakh ex gratia to the next of kin of the 19 persons who died in the incident.

Mr. Parthasarathi said the amount would be deposited in the post office and the interest would be given to the family every month. He said Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy responded magnanimously when he heard about the tragedy.

Ex gratia was never paid to victims of hooch tragedies, he said.

The children of victims would be educated, pucca houses would be built for families having house site pattas, and jobs would be provided to family members with education, Mr. Parthasarathi said.

Ms. Aruna Kumari said orders were passed to detain people involved in brewing illicit liquor under the PD Act. She urged the villagers to give information about those brewing and selling hooch, and even powerful people who were behind these operations.

District Collector S.A.M. Rizvi and other revenue officials accompanied the Ministers.

The Ministers also met 20 persons who consumed illicit liquor and who were undergoing treatment at the Andhra Hospital here.

The doctors told them that two patients required dialysis and another was likely lose sight.