Punjab hooch tragedy: Delhi CM asks Punjab govt to handover case to CBI

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday asked the Punjab government to handover the probe into the spurious liquor tragedy, which has claimed more than 80 lives, to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), saying the state police has been not able to crack the cases.

The death toll in the Punjab hooch tragedy mounted to 86 on Saturday even as chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh suspended seven excise officials and six policemen.

“Saddened by the loss of lives in Punjab due to illicit liquor. State government needs to immediately take necessary steps to curb such mafias. The case should be handed over to CBI immediately as none of the illicit liquor cases from the last few months have been solved by local police,” the Delhi chief minister tweeted.

A majority of the victims who died consuming spurious liquor belonged to Tarn Taran, which accounts for 63 deaths, followed by Amritsar Rural at 12 and Gurdaspur (Batala) at 11.  

Amarinder Singh had on Saturday announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each for the families of those who lost their lives after consuming the illicit liquor.

Singh also issued a warning that those involved in this business should stop immediately or face grave consequences. He announced the suspension of 13 officials during his weekly Facebook Live session with the public which includes two deputy superintendents of police and four station house officers.

Punjab police said it arrested 17 more people after conducting more than 100 raids in Tarn Taran, Amritsar Rural and Gurdaspur (Batala) along with several other locations near Rajpura and Shambu border. The total arrests have gone up to 25.

Dinkar Gupta, the state’s police chief, has said a woman kingpin, a transport owner, a wanted criminal, a mastermind and owners/managers of various roadside eateries–from where the illicit liquor was being supplied–are among those arrested.

(with inputs from ANI)

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