Punjab Spurious Liquor Case: More Held as Death Toll Rises to 104

The Punjab police on Monday apprehended 12 people, including one Moga and one Ludhian-based businessmen.

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The Punjab police on Monday, 3 August, apprehended 12 people, including one Moga and one Ludhian based businessmen after many people died in the state from drinking spurious alcohol.

According to a PTI report, the death toll rose to 104 on Sunday.

The state government informed that a manhunt has also been launched against a Ludhiana-based paint business owner, reported ANI. This businessman had allegedly supplied three drums of spurious liquor.

The Case

At least 104 people died in Amritsar, Gurdaspur and Tarn Taran after consuming spurious liquor. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh ordered a magisterial inquiry and suspended seven excise officials and six policemen.

Over 17 people were arrested on Saturday, 1 August, in a massive crackdown spanning more than 100 raids. The total number of arrests in the case has gone over 35.

On 31 July, over 40 raids were conducted across three districts, resulting in the arrest of eight bootleggers. A large amount of spurious liquor, drums and storage cans were recovered from the accused and have been sent for chemical analysis.

Congress MPs Demand CBI, ED Probe

Meanwhile, Shamsher Singh Dullo and Pratap Singh Bajwa, Members of Parliament from the Congress party have written to the Governor of Punjab seeking probe by CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) into ‘existence of liquor mafia’ in the state, reported ANI.

In the letter two two have gone on to point out the existence of two illegal distilleries in Patiala - the home state of CM Amarinder Singh.

“There has been blatant smuggling of liquor from Punjab to other states especially during the COVID lockdown period,” Dullo and Bajwa said in the letter.

“The losses in the revenue generation due to the smuggling of liquor is to the tune of Rs 2700 crores.Obviously this could not have been done without the consent/connivance of bureaucrats including Police, Excise officials and Politicians in power,”   
The letter said.

The letter further stressed that a probe by the CBI, as well as the ED was much needed in the case.

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