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Home > India > News > PTI

Hooch tragedy: Suspect ends life; kingpin held

May 23, 2008 01:30 IST

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The prime suspect in the illicit liquor tragedy, which claimed 170 lives in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, reportedly committed suicide while the kingpin of the hooch trade, Sounder Rajan, was arrested with his wife and daughter-in-law, the police said on Thursday. 

 Investigations took a new turn in the liquor tragedy case as the police recovered the body of Mustu alias Mushtaq from Bangalore Rural district's Kattigenahalli, who reportedly committed suicide by consuming poison after the incident came to light, Joint Commissioner (Crime) Gopal Hosur said.

Mushtaq had supplied 500 sachets of illicit arrack to Sounder Rajan on May 17, he told reporters.

Sounder Rajan, his wife Satya [Images] and daughter-in-law Rekha [Images] were arrested near Namakkal in Tamil Nadu, he said, adding, the three will be produced before a court on Friday.

Hosur said on May 18 Rajan's family had sold 450 sachets of liquor in which Methanol, an industrial solvent and a poisonous substance, was used.

The illicit liquor has claimed 129 lives in Karnataka and 41 in Krishnagiri district of Tamil Nadu.

Meanwhile, authorities suspended 26 officials in connection with the tragedy.

Hosur said Rajan's main job was to procure illicit liquor from his sources and the responsibility of vending was left to his wife and daughter-in-law. The special teams formed in the state and also in Krishnagiri would now work on arresting those behind the racket including manufacturers of hooch.

"It looks like it is a huge network. We are now probing how to get into  its roots," he said.

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