KERALA

CBI probe sought into hooch tragedy

KOLLAM April 15. The BJP Legal Cell has called for a CBI probe into the Kooppana liquor tragedy.

At a press conference here on Monday, the State convener of the Cell, C. Rajendran, said the Crime Branch probe ordered by the State Government would be nothing but a cosmetic exercise to shield the real culprits.

He said both the UDF Government and the previous LDF Government were never genuinely sincere in effecting the ban on arrack in its true spirit. Within a span of four years two major liquor tragedies had hit Kollam district.

The judicial probe into the Kalluvathukkal hooch tragedy had brought to light some startling realities on the unholy nexus between the authorities and the liquor mafia. It was as a result of this nexus that the banned stuff was still being freely available all over the State, he said.

Mr. Rajendran said that more than 3,00,000,00 crore litres of spirit reach the State annually. However, the seizure figure stands at just 100,000 litres. Even the seizures were based on rivalry generated tip offs. However, the successive Governments had shown no interest in exposing the source of the spirit supply into the State.

To a question on the allegations the Kooppana hooch tragedy prime accused, Valiya Thampi, had BJP connections, Mr. Rajendran said that such allegations were totally baseless. He said the CBI inquiry had been demanded by the cell since the spirit mafia was an inter-State conglomerate. He also said that a relief of Rs. 1 lakh each should be given by the State Government to those who had lost their lives in Kooppana hooch tragedy.

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