A Gutkha Shock

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Tobacco can kill and how. Last Sunday, when his wife brought him tea, 44-year-old Munna Shaikh from Mumbai decided that to have the beverage he would have to spit out the gutkha that he was chewing. From his home window, he spat it outside and was immediately electrocuted to death when the tobacco juice landed on a high tension electric wire. While the accident was bizarre, the corollary of establishing responsibility is no less so. While friends, family and neighbours are saying that the death was a result of the state electricity board refusing to remove the line despite complaints, the response of an official, quoted by the paper DNA, was that the line came first, and the houses, which do not adhere to norms, later. In any case, gutkha eaters beware: it’s not just cancer that you have to be afraid of.