Liquor tragedy panel issues notice to police

Cuttack: Justice A S Naidu Commission probing into the liquor tragedy in state has issued notice to the police asking it to file affidavit stating as to why a post-mortem was not conducted on the body of the bootlegger, who incidentally was the first victim of the tragedy which claimed at least 40 lives in February.

Baidhar Bhoi of Bada Jharilo village under Cuttack Sadar police station fell to his own design like the mythical foolish demon `Bhasmasura` after consuming his own preparation using tincture containing high alcoholic percentage.

When his condition deteriorated on the night of February 7, he was rushed to a private hospital in Bhubaneswar where doctors declared him brought dead. His family members, sensing trouble ahead, cremated the body in the wee hours of February 8 in his native village before anyone could get a hint of the imminent tragedy waiting to happen.

Besides asking the Cuttack Sadar police to file an affidavit to this effect, the judicial panel also yesterday issued notices to other government officials, including the state excise commissioner to file their affidavits, who are yet to do so despite issuance of notices earlier.

Meanwhile, when the Commission on the day was informed that some of the family members of the deceased also want to put forth their grievances before the Commission, Justice Naidu allowed it asking them to file their affidavits before August 18, when the Commission would hold its next sitting.

Similarly, responding to the Commission`s earlier notice, at least 20 medicine manufacturing units which use ethyl alcohol as one of the key components of some drugs, have also filed affidavits before it.