Kalluvathukkal hooch tragedy: Manichan released after serving 21 years in prison

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Photo: S Sreekesh

Thiruvananthapuram: After spending 21 years behind bars, Kalluvathukkal hooch tragedy kingpin Manichan was finally released from prison. Chandran, alias Manichan, walked out of Nettukaltheri Open Prison on Friday morning and was received by his family.

Earlier, Supreme Court ordered the immediate release of Manichan despite him not being able to pay the fine of Rs 30.45 lakh. The court also dismissed an affidavit filed by the Kerala Government stating that Manichan should remain in jail if he could not pay the fine of Rs 30.45 lakh.

He is part of a group of prisoners to be pardoned as part of 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav', marking the 75th anniversary of Indian Independence.

The Kalluvathukkal tragedy that claimed the lives of 31 people and the eyesight of another 500 happened on October 21, 2000, in Kollam. Manichan made underground rooms in his house to prepare hooch. Methanol was used for preparing the spurious liquor which resulted in the disaster. Manichan was sentenced to a life term and another 43 years (to be served together) over various charges, including the destruction of evidence.

Due to his 'good behaviour' in the Poojappura Central Jail, Manichan was later transferred to the Open Jail in Nettukaltheri. He is a popular farmer in jail.

Manichan's brothers Kochani and Manikandan were released in November last year in a similar way. Distributor Hairunnisa alias Thatha died in jail in 2009.

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