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Aligarh hooch deaths: BJP expels key accused from party

Rishi Sharma, whom the police described as the kingpin of the liquor mafia, was named in 13 different cases connected to the recent liquor tragedy.

By: PTI | Aligarh |
June 8, 2021 4:56:03 am
They said Rishi Sharma was in disguise and hiding among a group of sadhus at an ashram at Garhmukteshwar near Hapur to evade the police. (PTI)

The Uttar Pradesh BJP unit on Monday expelled Rishi Sharma, the alleged kingpin in the hooch tragedy in Aligarh, from the party. Nearly 50 people have died in Aligarh since consuming spurious liquor on two different occasions recently, according to police, while officials estimated that the death toll could go up to 100 as autopsy reports of another 50 hooch consumers were awaited.

“Hooch tragedy accused Rishi Sharma is neither an active member in the BJP nor has he be given any responsibility in the organisation. However, if he is saying that is in some way connected to the party, then, on the direction of the state leadership, his primary membership is immediately annulled and he is expelled from the party,”a party press release said.

Rishi Sharma, whom the police described as the kingpin of the liquor mafia, was named in 13 different cases connected to the recent liquor tragedy.

Meanwhile, police have started the process of charging all the five main accused, including Sharma, who was arrested on Sunday, under the stringent National Security Act and the Gangster Act, Senior Superintendent of Police Kalanidhi Naithani said.

The accused are being interrogated and are expected to reveal the entire network of the liquor mafia, police sources said.

They said Rishi Sharma was in disguise and hiding among a group of sadhus at an ashram at Garhmukteshwar near Hapur to evade the police.

Police had managed to trace his whereabouts from the video footage of one of his close associates with whom he was last seen when the news of the liquor tragedy, which has claimed at least 35 lives, started trickling on the night of May 27.

During the past week, police raided the premises of several of Sharma’s associates in different states including Himachal Pradesh. After they traced him to Garhmukteshwar Ashram on Saturday evening, a police party rushed there only to discover that he had escaped.

With the help of some informers, he was tracked down at the Aligarh-Bulandshahr border where he was ultimately nabbed after a manhunt lasting nine days.

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