With 197 new cases and 135 more arrests in 24 hours, the Punjab Police has busted several modules as a part of its state-wide crackdown on illicit liquor mafia, while further tightening the noose around the suspects in the hooch tragedy case.
A total of 284 drums of methanol were seized from the Millar Ganj (Ludhiana) shop or godown of the key accused Rajiv Joshi, who had sold three drums that had triggered the chain of deaths in three districts in one of the state’s worst such cases. The death toll in the case stands at 113.
“While investigations into the tragedy are continuing and the two SITs set up to fast-track the FIRs, the police continued with coordinated raids across districts on the orders of Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh to ‘finish the illicit liquor business;,” said the state Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta.
The past 24 hours saw the recovery of 1528 litres of illicit liquor, 7450 kgs of Lahan and 962 litres of smuggled licit liquor in raids at various locations, said the DGP, adding that 11 working stills were also recovered in 197 cases registered since Wednesday.
The DGP said that the Lahan was recovered by Amritsar Police in a special drive supervised by senior officers.
Since the raids started in the wake of the hooch tragedy, a total of 1489 FIRs have been registered and 1,034 persons have been arrested, said Gupta.
A total of 29,422 litres of illicit liquor, besides 12,599 litres of licit liquor and 5,82,406 kgs of Lahan, along with 20,960 litres of alcohol or spirits, have been seized, and 73 working stills recovered in the state-wide raids.
The raiding teams are coordinating closely with the Excise Department, as per the Chief Minister’s directives, said the DGP, adding that the raids will continue in the coming days so that every single person involved in manufacturing or trading of spurious or illicit liquor or smuggling of liquor is arrested and action taken against them as per law.
400 kilo lahan, five boats, other material used to destill illicit liquor seized in Hoshiarpur
Launching a major crackdown on illicit liquor trade, the Hoshiarpur District Police on Thursday recovered 400 kilograms Lahan from the Mand area in Dasuya.
Giving details, the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Navjot Singh Mahal revealed that under this special operation in Dasuya sub-division, the police seized 400 kgs lahan and five boats, tarpaulins and other material, which was being used for distilling illicit liquor.
He said that the recovered Lahan was destroyed in the presence of police and excise teams.
“I have already issued strict directions to all police officers to deal those involved in illicit liquor trade and drugs with iron hand. The police team conducted this operation for over six hours…The crackdown would be intensified and those indulged in this malpractice would be taken to task,” he said