Friday, July 01, 2011
NHRC issues notice to Orissa govt on Kaptipada hooch tragedy
By Our Correspondent / source: www.indusvalleytimes.com
Bhubaneswar, July 1: In a significant development, the Naitonal Human Rights Commission on Thursday issued notice to Orissa chief secretary to submit a detailed report on the death of 7 people of several villages under Talachua gram panchayat of Kaptipada Block in Mayurbhanj district after allegedly consuming spurious liquor from a local shop.
Based on a letter from Mohan Lal Panda, advisor of Banaras based People's Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR), the NHRC issued the order.
Earlier, Orissa government had ordered an inquiry by a senior excise official after allegations of seven deaths due to consumption of spurious liquor in several villages of tribal-dominated Mayurbhanj district.
Meanwhile, the Congress on Friday demanded resignation of excise minister A.U.Singh Deo in connection with the hooch tragedy.
Orissa Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) vice-president Sivananda Ray said although seven people died by consuming spurious liquor the minister mislead the public by saying that the deceased were suffering from different chronic diseases.
"Our investigation revealed that most of the deceased had purchased spurious liquor from one Kuna Behera at Salachua market near Kaptipada. Soon after consuming the liquor, they complained head reeling, eye-sight problem and suffocation. They were immediately rushed to hospitals in Kaptipada and Balasore and treated for alcohol poisoning. Unfortunately, the minister has tried to cover up this fact by flatly denying that the victims had consumed any liquor," Mr Ray said.
He alleged that not a single post-mortem was conducted to ascertain the cause of death. "Had the authorities conducted post-mortem, the reason for loss of seven precious lives could have been established. What is quite surprising is that although all the deceased were tribals, they were not buried as per their tradition. Their bodies were cremated at the instance of the district administration which wanted to wipe out all the evidence," Mr Ray added.
Executive Director/Secretary General -PVCHR/JMN