Hooch tragedy: Naidu commission submits report

Bhubaneswar: Justice AS Naidu commission probing the illegal hooch tragedy that claimed 43 lives in Cuttack and Khurda districts last year submitted  its final report to the State government today.Secretary of the commission Kasinath Panigrahi submitted the report.
 
At least 43 people died after consuming spurious liquor in the two districts while hundreds fell ill for the same reason following which the State government ordered for a judicial inquiry into the matter. Retired High Court justice AS Naidu was entrusted upon the investigation in July 2012.
 
The one-man commission, which started investigation in the first week of July, recorded the statements of 49 people in 56 sittings. In the course of investigation, the panel also received 123 affidavits during different hearings.
 
During the last hearing, the advocate appeared for the drugs control department had stated the excise department lacked basic infrastructure to crackdown on illegal sale of liquor. Moreover, lack of coordination between the police and excise officials had led to flourishing illegal liquor trade.
 
Notably, the tragedy rocked the State following which AU Singhdeo, who held various portfolios for a consecutive 12 years in Naveen Patnaik government, had resigned as Excise minister. Commission’s final report will impact Singhdeo’s political future, sources said.