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Year after hooch tragedy, smuggling accused joins SAD

🔴 The hooch tragedy had killed more than hundred in Majha region in July and August of 2020.

Written by Kamaldeep Singh Brar | Amritsar |
Updated: January 19, 2022 12:49:14 pm
Punjab, Punjab latest news, Punjab assembly elections, Punjab polls 2022, Gurpal Dhotia, SAD, Punjab Congress, Akali Dal, indian expressGurpal Dhotian joining SAD in presence of Adesh Partap Singh Kairon. (Express Photo)

Gurpal Dhotia, the brother of self-styled godman and 2020 hooch tragedy case accused Rashpal Dhotian, has joined Akali Dal ahead of the Punjab Assembly polls.

While Rashpal is on the run in a hooch tragedy related case, Gurpal is an accused in the hooch smuggling case and it currently out on bail.

The hooch tragedy had killed more than hundred in Majha region in July and August of 2020.

Former minister and four-time MLA from Patti, Adesh Partap Singh Karion, is also scheduled to visit the house of Gurpal Dhotian Tuesday.

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Earlier, Dhotian brothers had joined Congress party in presence of sitting Patti MLA Harminder Gill during 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

“Cases come and go. Cases have been registered but they have not been proved guilty and Gurpal is out on bail,” said Paramjit Singh, former Akali sarpanch of the Dhotian village in district Taran Taran.

He added: “Gurpal has joined Shiromani Akali Dal. He was forced to join Congress after registration of fake cases. Now he is back in the party. He joined SAD in presence of Adesh Partap Singh Karion recently. It is true that Karion is scheduled to visit the Gurpal Dhotian’s house on Tuesday.”

Who are Dhotian brothers

According to police FIR, Rashpal and Gurpal both brothers were allegedly using the dera in village Dhotian to run their illegal liquor business for nine years. Rashpal was a self-styled godman at the dera and has small following in nearby villages.

Both brothers have many criminal cases pending against them. Gurpal was arrested for smuggling 4,000 litres of chemical/spirit liquor in Phillaur on July 9, 2020, just 20 days before the hooch tragedy unfolded.

Rashpal was alleged to have multiple sources to obtain liquor and then supply. Despite the arrest of Gurpal, Rashpal Singh allegedly transported at least four consignments of spirit liquor till July 29, 2020 and has been on run since then.

Both brothers were politically active earlier too and used to organise an annual musical show for Rashpal’s followers. Recently, one such show was held on June 23.

Just 20 days before his arrest in Phillaur in July 2020, Gurpal had posted a picture on Facebook with MLA Harminder Gill. Now his picture with Adesh Partap Singh Karion is making rounds on social media.

Karion had tea at the Gurpal’s house, which is attached in court processings of cases related to hooch tragedy.

Karion addressed public meeting at the house of hooch smuggling accused Gurpal

After symbolically inducting Gurpal Dhotian into the Shiromani Akali Dal Badal, former minister and four time MLA Adesh Partap Singh Karion reached the house of Gurpal Dhotian in Dhotian village of Tarn Taran on Tuesday.

Karion had tea at the Gurpal’s house, which is attached in court processings of cases related to hooch tragedy. Karion also addressed a gathering of SC community organised by Gurpal at his home.

“False cases were registered against family during the Congress government. The poor public was suffering due to the policies of the Congress government. So I have joined SAD,” said Gurpal Dhotian while talking to The Indian Express.

Adesh Partap Karion didn’t respond to calls.

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