Orissa hooch toll 33,minister quits

Orissa Excise Minister A U Singhdeo resigned on moral grounds following the hooch tragedy in Cuttack and Khurda districts which left 33 dead and 65 others battling for their lives in hospitals

Written by Press Trust Of India | Bhubaneswar | Published: February 10, 2012 12:32 am

Orissa Excise Minister A U Singhdeo on Thursday resigned on moral grounds following the hooch tragedy in Cuttack and Khurda districts which left 33 dead and 65 others battling for their lives in hospitals.

Singhdeo sent his resignation through a special messenger to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s office which was accepted. “A U Singdeo sent his letter of resignation to me today. He has expressed his desire to quit the cabinet on moral grounds. I have forwarded his letter to the Governor for acceptance,” Naveen said.

Singhdeo,on his part,said,“I personally felt that to pave the way for a free and fair enquiry,I should resign.”

On whether he was under any pressure to resign,he said,“Under the circumstances my conscience felt that I should step down on moral grounds. I am sure truth will prevail. Police and judicial enquiry will find the truth.”

On Wednesday,Cuttack district Collector Girish S N had expressed doubt as to whether it was a case of hooch tragedy saying the people died after drinking spurious medicines and not liquor and many cough syrup bottles were seized from a joint in Mahidharpada area,where the tragedy occurred this Monday.

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