Police achieve breakthrough in Hooch tragedy, arrest four

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Bangalore, May 28 (UNI) In a major breakthrough, the city police have arrested the main supplier of methanol for brewing the illicit liquor that claimed more than 130 lives in Karnataka and in bordering areas of Tamil Nadu, including 61 in the city.

City Police Commissioner Neelam Achuta Rao told newpersons here today that the special team formed with Central Crime Branch to nab the culprits had arrested four persons, including Munner, the kingpin. He had supplied six barrels of methanol to the illicit brewers.

The incident sent shock waves across the country during the Karnataka Assembly elections and also led to hospitalisation of more than 200, including 71 people here following the consumption of spurious liquor.

He said 28 year-old Muneer had purchased methanol from Nagendra, a dealer in industrial solvents and waste industrial fluids and supplied it to Sundar, who was arrested in Tamil Nadu.

A habitual offender, Muneer was wanted in kidnapping and rape cases.

Others arrested were Nagendra, Shameer and Abu.

Police have arrested 12 people so far in connection with the supply of illicit liquor. A special team headed by Additional Director General of Police Shankar Bidari was investigating into the liquor tragedy in coopertion with Tamil Nadu Police.

He said following the short supply of rectified spirit in view of the elections, the bootleggers were desperate to secure rectified spirit from any source and supply it immediately after polling. Investigations also disclosed that the culprits Munner and Mazahar took samples of methanol and handed it over to Shameer, who is reported to have conducted the test and certified it as fit for human consumption.

Abu, who received methanol from Nagendra distributed it to one Mehaboob Jan of Kattigenahalli for distribution among 12 people engaged in preparation of illicit liquor and supplying it to vendors across the state.

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