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As 2 die and another 2 fight for life, latest hooch deaths bring focus back on Tarn Taran village

Police probe into the hooch tragedy earlier had revealed that illegal liquor was collected at Panadori Gola from different parts for Punjab and was then supplied to Tarn Taran, Amritsar and Batala in Gurdaspur.

Written by Kamaldeep Singh Brar | Amritsar | August 20, 2020 11:09:21 am
Tarn Taran, Hooch, Punjab ProtestPunjab has witnessed several protests over the hooch tragedy in which 123 people died. (Archive)

Despite a police crackdown in Tarn Taran’s Pandori Gola after a recent hooch tragedy claimed 11 lives in this village out of 123 in Punjab, two more villagers have died after drinking spurious liquor here in the last 24 hours. Another two are under treatment after drinking illegal hooch. Police have made two arrest in this latest case of hooch tragedy so far.

The two from Pandori Gola who died on Tuesday have been identified as Dilbagh Singh and Heera Singh. While Dilbagh died on Tuesday afternoon, Hera’s succumbed late on Tuesday night.

Heera’s borther, Dheera, has been hospitalised along with another villager, Rampal, at Civil Hospital, Tarn Taran.

After refusing to accept that Dilbagh (30) had died after consuming spurious liquor earlier, the police in a press note on Wednesday admitted that all four had consumed spurious liquor on Monday and symptoms appeared on Tuesday afternoon. Police now claims that Dilbagh Singh had bought illegal liquor from one Joga Singh, while Heera, Dheera and Rampal had bought liquor from another smuggler Karanbir Singh. Joga Singh has been arrested. However, Karanbir is on run.

Police have also recovered left over illegal liquor from Dheera’s house and it has been sent for chemical examination.

The Indian Express had reported on August 7 that liquor mafia was still active in Tarn Taran and Amritsar Rural police was forced to guard its border with Tarn Taran to stop flow of illegal liquor. The latest deaths in the village again point to smugglers operating undeterred in the area.

Former SAD MLA Virsa Singh Valtoha said, “This is utter failure of Punjab government and the police. These deaths are more serious as they follow 123 deaths which led to a police crackdown. It turns out that smugglers are fearless. Liquor doesn’t not come here from Pakistan. It has being manufactured in Punjab and then is distributed in Punjab. Government machinery has collapsed in Punjab.”

Pandori Gola falls under Khadoor Sahib Assembly constituency, and has around 4000 voters. It is just one kilometre away from Tarn Taran city. Police probe into the hooch tragedy earlier had revealed that illegal liquor was collected at Panadori Gola from different parts for Punjab and was then supplied to Tarn Taran, Amritsar and Batala in Gurdaspur. Village resident Satnam Singh and his family members were identified as alleged suppliers of this illegal liquor.

“With Satnam’s arrest, the Tarn Taran module of the mafia involved in his case had been busted,” DGP had claimed on August 4.
Satnam Singh, his brother Shamsher Singh, father Harjit Singh and uncle Kashmir Singh, all native of Pandori Gola, are in custody of police.

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