A team of Excise department on Sunday recovered 27,600 litres of illicit chemicals, including spirit, in a raid they conducted in Derabassi town of Punjab’s Mohali district.
The raid, which was led by Joint Commissioner of Excise department Naresh Dubey, was conducted as part of the crackdown on the manufacture of illicit liquor.
The statewide raids as part of the crackdown on illicit/spurious liquor business have been intensified since the hooch tragedy case, which claimed the lives of 113 persons across three districts. Of the 113 fatalities, maximum 84 deaths occurred in Tarn Taran, followed by 15 in Amritsar and 14 in Batala.
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had asserted that he would not tolerate any political interference in “the biggest tragedy of recent times” even as the Opposition resorted to dharnas and protests while demanding court-monitored probe,
He had also mooted enhancement of punishment for spurious or illicit liquor manufacturing and smuggling under the Excise Act, to ensure repeat offenders remain behind the bars and are not able to come out easily to indulge again in the crime.
These directives had come during two separate video conferences—one of the Cabinet meeting and the other a review meeting of the case with top police and administrative officials—held last week.
The illicit liquor business, using ‘lahan’ (raw material for making liquor), has been going on in border areas for a long time. But now it had assumed even more dangerous proportions with the new trend of smuggling from neighbouring states, he had said.
Asserting that he wanted “to see an end to this whole business of spurious and illicit or smuggled liquor,” the CM directed the officials concerned to be extremely strict in dealing with the criminals. Reiterating his government’s zero-tolerance policy to illicit and spurious liquor and drugs, he asked the police to coordinate closely with the excise and other departments concerned to wipe this menace out.
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