Six Excise Department officials suspended

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Bangalore, May 20 (UNI) Karnataka Excise Commissioner C R Chikamath today said six officials of the State Excise Department were suspended in connection with the hooch tragedy, in which at least 80 people were killed in the last few days.

Speaking to reporters here, Mr Chikamath said officials from Frazer town here, were suspended following their negligence and failure in taking actions to prevent the sale of illicit liquor, which claimed the lives of many innocent people.

The Excise Inspectors and Sub-Inspectors suspended included Laxminarayan and Asha V from Frazer Town, Shrinivas G R and M Ramani from Kolar, and S S Bokari and S A Shankar Prasad from Malur, he said, and added that these officials had not informed the department about the return of kingpin Soundar Rajan from Tamil Nadu and operating in Karnataka.

Soundar, who was convicted in 2005 in connection with the manufacturing of the killer brew and absconding since then, is said to be behind this tragedy, the Excise Commissioner said, and added this is the first time that so many deaths were reported after the ban on sale of arrack was ordered 11 months ago.

The department had registered 7,650 cases in connection with violation of excise rules from July last year, he said.

The samples of the killer brew had been sent to the laboratory of the Public Health Department yesterday and it would be available only after 48 hours, Mr Chikamath added.

UNI SIV GKT PY HT1925

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