Police investigations into liquor tragedy still incomplete

Cuttack: More than ten months after the February 2012 liquor tragedy of Cuttack and Khurda districts, the police are yet to complete their investigation.

At least 40 people of neighbouring areas of the districts had died consuming illicit liquor manufactured by bootleggers that had high content of poisonous methyl alcohol.

Deposing before the Justice A S Naidu Commission of Enquiry yesterday, Cuttack city additional DCP Gurudas Kundu, who is heading the police investigations into the tragedy, told the panel that the police investigations into the tragedy are not yet complete.

He, however, said the investigation pertaining to Cuttack jurisdiction is over and the charge-sheet has been filed while the probe relating to the tragedy in Khurda district is still open.

Cross examining the police, the Nisha Mukti Abhiyan convener Chittaranjan Mohanty, who has filed an affidavit before the Commission as a witness, asked as to why the police have registered cases under sections 274, 275 and 276 of IPC but not under sections 272 and 273 of IPC.

Mohanty said while sections 274, 275 and 276 deal with trade in adulterated drugs, sections 272 and 273 deal with adulterated food and drinks.

Fine and quantum of punishment in all these sections are same, Mohanty said alleging that police action smells a rat as if the tragedy was caused only due to failure of excise department and the drugs controller has no role in it.