Special Correspondent

CHICKBALLAPUR: Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council Motamma on Saturday said that Excise Minister M.P. Renukacharya should quit owning moral responsibility for the Sidlaghatta liquor tragedy that claimed 12 lives.

After visiting the families of the victims at Dibburahalli, Chickdibbuarahalli and Bayappanahalli in Sidlaghatta taluk, Ms. Motamma told presspersons that the State Government was directly responsible for the incident that occurred during gram panchayat elections. The Excise officials “failed” to check sale and brewing of spurious liquor, she said.

She said the Government should order a high-level inquiry into the tragedy to ascertain the origin of spurious liquor and lapses by the officials concerned.

Ms. Motamma said the Government should pay compensation to the kin of the victims of the liquor tragedy, which was the first such incident in Shidlaghatta taluk.

She criticised Mr. Renukacharya for stating that there was no question of paying compensation.

Minister of State for Railways and local MP K.H. Muniyappa, who accompanied Ms. Motamma during the visit, said that the State Government should take the incident seriously.

He too urged the Government to pay compensation to the families of the victims, most of whom are Dalits.

Senior Congress leader and Shidlaghatta MLA V. Muniyappa was present.