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Congress demands judicial probe into Gujarat hooch tragedy

Family members mourn at the home of a man who died after consuming spurious liquor in Gujarat’s Rojid village

Family members mourn at the home of a man who died after consuming spurious liquor in Gujarat’s Rojid village | Photo Credit: VIJAY SONEJI

Alleging that illicit liquor trade was “flourishing” in Gujarat under the protection of “ruling forces,” the Congress on Friday demanded a probe by a sitting High Court judge into the death of over 40 people due to consumption of spurious liquor earlier this week.

Taking to Twitter, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said, “Consumption of spurious liquor has ruined many households in the ‘dry State’ of Gujarat. Drugs worth billions are being recovered regularly from there. It is a matter of great shame that in the land of Bapu and Sardar Patel, who are these people engaged in the indiscriminate selling of intoxicants? Which ruling forces are giving protection to these mafia?”

Echoing him, party general secretary and his sister, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, also attacked the BJP. “By putting the label of prohibition on the top, who are the people of the government giving protection to the illicit liquor business? Bapu’s land wants answers to these questions. The BJP government is running away from the question of providing protection to illicit liquor business,” she wrote on Twitter.

PM Modi asked to speak up

Addressing a press conference at the AICC headquarters here, Congress’ media department head Pawan Khera and Rajya Sabha member Amee Yajnik urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to speak up on the deaths due to spurious liquor and meet families of the victims during his Gujarat visit on Friday.

Mr. Khera said it has come to light that 600 litres of ‘methyl alcohol’ (methanol) was brought from Ahmedabad to Botad district after which water was mixed in it and it was sold in different areas due to which people either lost their lives or suffered kidney damage.

The leaders of the ruling party, the police, administration and the liquor mafia must have been complicit, he alleged.

Congress communication chief Jairam Ramesh tagged Mr. Modi and asked why he didn’t meet any of the victims. “Why such insensitivity @narendramodi?” Mr. Ramesh asked on Twitter.

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Printable version | Aug 25, 2022 3:18:30 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/congress-demands-judicial-probe-into-gujarat-hooch-tragedy/article65699435.ece