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Sunday, September 27, 2020

Was CM sleeping when hooch was being brewed in Patiala: Dullo

The hooch tragedy claimed the lives of 113 persons across three districts — 84 in Tarn Taran, 15 in Amritsar and 14 in Batala.

By: Express News Service | Amritsar | August 12, 2020 12:51:38 pm
Police points to mitigating factor for one accused, gives clean chit to anotherED, Jalandhar office, had registered Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) in illegal liquor scam and hooch tragedy on September 3.

Congress Rajya Sabha MP Shamsher Singh Dullo took on Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh and Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Sunil Jakhar during his visit to Muchhal village in Amritsar district — where the first death due to consumption of spurious liquor took place — on Tuesday.

The hooch tragedy claimed the lives of 113 persons across three districts — 84 in Tarn Taran, 15 in Amritsar and 14 in Batala.

Dullo, who was there to visit the families of victims, said: “Some poor Dalit families were selling liquor in Muchhal. They were getting only Rs 2-5 per liquor pouch. But police has not arrested any big fish yet.”

He further said, “There are 16 legal distilleries in the state. Police claim to have discovered nine illegal distilleries. CM Amarinder Singh belongs to Patiala. He is the local MLA and has home and excise department with him. Still, five illegal distilleries were operational in Patiala. Was CM sleeping when liquor was brewed illegally in his home district and sent to different parts of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh? If it is not a nexus of politicians, police and smugglers, what is it? Money was being distributed equally among them, but now some poor people have been arrested.”

“How come such a big nexus could work without the knowledge of the ruler? The nexus clearly had political shelter. Punjab lost revenue of Rs 2,700 crore that was coming from excise on liquor vends. If Capt Amarinder Singh is honest, he must arrest the person who was enjoying a share from this nexus. But we all know he didn’t keep his vow taken on Gutka Sahib. Even before the coronavirus outbreak, he would rarely come out of his home and meet MLAs. Even PPCB president Sunil Jakhar had to wait for appointment with the CM for weeks. I have nothing personal against Jakhar but it was his duty to take notice of the illegal liquor smuggling and instead of sending notice to me for raising my voice, he should have sent a notice to Punjab CM to ask that how was this happening. Drugs are on sale in open in the state,” Dullo added.

SSP must be booked: SAD

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Tuesday demanded Amritsar Rural SSP Dhruv Dahiya should be booked and investigated by CBI for his role in the hooch tragedy.

Addressing a press conference here, former minister Bikram Singh Majithia and former chief parliamentary secretary Virsa Singh Valtoha alleged that the police officer refused to take action against the liquor mafia in Tarn Taran even when evidence about the same was presented to him.

“He should have been suspended or even dismissed from service but instead he has been rewarded with yet another plum posting as SSP, Amritsar. Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta should explain his fondness for Dhruv Dahiya and also say what policing Dahiya has done that he was posted as an SSP for a third time,” the leaders said.

Majithia claimed that even Tarn Taran residents had complained that despite submission of complaints to him along with the address of an illegal illicit liquor manufacturer as well as vehicles used to supply spurious liquor in the area, Dahiya had refused to take any action in the matter.

“This makes him complicit in entire racket and strict action needs to be taken against him,” he added.

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