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The Hindu

Kerala government recommends release of 33 convicts

The State government has requested Governor Arif Mohammad Khan to release 33 convicts incarcerated in various prisons. Notably, they include Chandran, alias Manichan, who was convicted for the Kalluvathukkal liquor tragedy in 2000.

At least 31 people died and 500 sustained debilitating trauma, including loss of eyesight, after consuming spurious liquor at a speakeasy at Kalluvathukkal in the Attingal police station limits.

The police case was that the seller had sourced the toxic spirit from Manichan. Investigators alleged that Manichan’s managers had sourced relatively cheap industrial alcohol and blended it with contraband spirit to squeeze profits.

The cocktail turned lethal, resulting in the deaths. The police had also unearthed a large cache of spirit concealed in subterranean tanks at a brick factory owned by Manichan, thereby clinching the criminal case against him.

Mr. Manichan was also serving additional time for allegedly plotting to murder the officers who investigated him. So far, he has served 20 years in jail without parole.

The State had sought remission of sentence for select prisoners as part of the platinum jubilee celebrations of Indian Independence.

Moreover, Manichan’s wife had moved the Supreme Court pleading for his release.