Says taking action against distillery owners who were supplying spirit to the liquor mafia was the key to ending illicit liquor trade
Chandigarh, August 20, 2020: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today said the Congress government’s failure to take action against the liquor mafia led by Congressmen as well distilleries who were supplying spirit to them had resulted in the death of five more innocents adding this dance of death would end only when the entire nexus, including government officials and corrupt police persons, was dismantled.
In a statement here, former minister Bikram Singh Majithia said all claims of the Congress government of taking action to stop the illicit liquor trade in the State had proved hollow with yesterday’s deaths. “This also shows that far from dismantling the mafia it continues to flourish. Even the families of the two persons who died in Tarn Taran yesterday and three who died in Bholath have given a statement saying spurious liquor is freely available in their villages. The tentacles of the hooch traders are increasing day by day and now have reached the Doaba region also after flourishing in Majha and the Patiala-Khanna- Ludhiana belt earlier”. There cannot be a bigger indictment of the Congress government.
The SAD leader said people were continuing to die after consuming spurious liquor because the government had not taken any action against distilleries who were accused of supplying spirit to the liquor mafia. He said until the distilleries involved in smuggling denatured spirit to mafia elements were not sealed and exemplary action was not taken against their managements for abetting murder, such tragedies will continue. “It is time the Congress government wakes up to the enormity of the tragedy and takes action where it is due instead of indulging in photo-op exercises and only going after those manufacturing country liquor”.
Mr Bikram Majithia said once action was initiated against the distilleries and they were sealed, then the entire crime would be unraveled. “Though illegal distilleries cum bottling plants have been unearthed in Patiala and Khanna, it appears that there are other such illegal facilities which continue to flourish and release poison into our society. Once action is taken against the distilleries the mafia will be exposed including Congress leaders who are patronizing cum running the racket besides the rotten apples in the civil and police force that are facilitating this illicit trade”.
The Akali leader also reiterated his demand for an independent inquiry into the entire case, saying the five deaths which had followed the demise of more than 130 persons in the recent hooch tragedy spread over Amritsar, Gurdaspur and Tarn Taran districts proved that the real culprits were being given political shelter. “Only once the shelter being given to the accused by the Congress government is taken away will justice prevail in this case”. Mr Majithia demanded a CBI inquiry or an inquiry by a sitting judge of the high court into the entire illicit liquor trade which he said had already caused a loss of Rs 5,600 crore to the State exchequer besides leading to the loss of more than 135 precious lives.