With 197 new FIRs and 135 more arrests in 24 hours, the Punjab Police has busted several modules as part of its state-wide crackdown on illicit liquor mafia, while further tightening the noose around the suspects in the hooch tragedy case, DGP Dinkar Gupta Thursday said.
“A total of 284 drums of methanol were seized from the Millar Ganj (Ludhiana) shop of the key accused, Rajiv Joshi, who had sold the three drums that had triggered the chain of deaths in three districts in one of the state’s worst such cases,” said Gupta.
The death toll in the case stands at 113.
“While investigations into the tragedy are continuing and the two SITs have been set up to fast-track the FIRs, the police continued with coordinated raids across districts to finish the illicit liquor business,” the DGP said.
In the last 24 hours 1,528 litres of illicit liquor, 7,450 kg of ‘lahan’ (raw material to make illicit liquor) and 962 litres of smuggled licit liquor were recovered in raids at various locations. Eleven working stills (bhattis) were also recovered in the 197 cases registered since Wednesday, said the DGP.
“Since the raids started, a total of 1,489 FIRs have been registered and 1,034 persons have been arrested,” said Gupta. A total of 29,422 litres of illicit liquor, besides 12,599 litres of licit liquor and 5,82,406 kgs of lahan, along with 20,960 litres of alcohol and spirit, have been seized and 73 working stills recovered, he added.
The raiding teams are coordinating with the excise department, as per the Chief Minister’s directives, said the DGP. These raids will continue, he said.