The probe into illegal liquor trade and the recent hooch tragedy that killed over 100 people in Punjab is set to be transferred to ED’s Delhi headquarters by the agency’s Jalandhar office. The instructions for the transfer came from the headquarters, ED sources in Jalandhar said.
Although no reason was given for the transfer, it is learnt that suspected involvement of politicians, bureaucrats and distillery people was the reason why Delhi ED stepped in.
According to sources, a Special Task Force with ED’s own staff, including a joint director, deputy directors and others, will probe this case now. The handover, sources said, will be complete in the next 10 days.
ED, Jalandhar, was probing on the lines of raw material used to make liquor resulting in hooch tragedy, illegal distilleries, inter-state liquor smuggling, source of raw material used for making illegal liquor, running of the illegal liquor factories with a motive to save taxes during the lockdown period.
“Transfer of the case could be a delaying tactic also like the case of Station House Officer (SHO) Inderjit Singh, who was arrested by STF of Punjab Police with 4 kg heroin in 2017 when he was posted in Kapurthala. First ED, Jalandhar, was probing it but then it was shifted to Delhi where STF started probing it. But no concrete outcome has come yet. The SHO had links with several senior police officials as well as big drug smugglers,” said a senior officer in Punjab Police, adding that Centre wants to tighten the noose against the state so that ED toes the lines of Centre on several issues.
ED, Jalandhar office, had registered Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) in illegal liquor scam and hooch tragedy on September 3. With the registration of ECIR, the ED will probe all the 13 FIR’s registered in the illegal liquor scam that had occurred during the lockdown period.
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