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Malappuram toddy tragedy: Panel faults Excise of ignoring intelligence

Malappuram toddy tragedy: Panel faults Excise of ignoring intelligence

Thiruvananthapuram: A judicial commission, which probed the 2010 Malappuram liquor tragedy that left 26 dead, has found serious lapses on part of excise officials for ignoring intelligence warnings that toddy laced with dangerous chemicals was being sold in some outlets.

This was one of the key findings of the Justice Rajendran Nair Commission, which probed the tragedy that claimed 26 lives and rendered five others blind after they consumed toddy from three shops in the district between Sep 5 and 7 that year.

The commission, in its report submitted to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy here Thursday, recommended departmental action against the officials who neglected the intelligence tips.

According to reliable sources, the panel found there had been intelligence reports of toddy being laced with dangerous ingredients like methyl alcohol to make the brew stronger.

The commission said the danger posed by poisoned toddy could have been avoided had testing of samples collected from toddy shops been carried out regularly and effectively.

Two liquor contractors running the toddy shops were arrested within a few days after the incident.

The victims hailed from working class background and some of them were migrant labourers from other states.

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