Other States

Book those directly involved in hooch tragedy for murder: Amarinder Singh

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday directed the State police chief to book those directly involved in the hooch tragedy that has claimed 113 lives, for murder.

Promising justice for the victims of the case, which he termed as the biggest tragedy of recent times, the Chief Minister asserted that he will not tolerate any political interference in the case.

Capt. Amarinder also mooted enhancement of punishment for spurious or illicit liquor manufacturing and smuggling under the Excise Act, to ensure repeat offenders remain behind the bars and are not able to come out easily to indulge again in the crime.

During a Cabinet meeting, several Ministers agreed to Advocate General Atul Nanda’s suggestion that a strict law like Punjab Control of Organised Crime Act (PCOCA) was needed to combat organised crime like illicit liquor smuggling.

The Chief Minister asked the sub-committee, set up under Minister Brahm Mohindra, to examine the provisions of the proposed law, to finalise and submit its report at the earliest.

He agreed with Sukhjinder Randhawa and other Ministers that PCOCA could help control hardcore criminals and act as a deterrent to gangsters, who continue to deal in organised crime even from prison, and had close connections with terrorists too, according to a government release here.

SIT teams formed

Punjab Director General of Police Dinkar Gupta on Wednesday ordered the constitution of two Special Investigation Teams (SITs) to fast-track investigations in all the FIRs registered in the hooch tragedy.

Additional Director General of Police (Law & Order) Ishwar Singh will supervise both the SIT investigations.

Meanwhile, the Shiromani Akali Dal announced that the party would approach Punjab Governor V.P. Singh Badnore and demand an immediate dismissal of the Congress government in the State, which the party said was responsible for the hooch tragedy.

“The Akali Dal will subsequently hold a dharna outside the Governor’s residence for four days from August 7. Also we have decided that in the second phase, the party would hold dharna outside the residence of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi and demand that the Congress high command come clean on the issue,” party chief Sukhbir Singh Badal said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Printable version | Oct 1, 2020 7:25:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/book-those-directly-involved-in-hooch-tragedy-for-murder-cm/article32280850.ece

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