Sangrur hooch tragedy, toll climbs to 21; EC seeks report from CS, DGP

Team Parvasi – Inside

Sangrur hooch tragedy, toll climbs to 21; EC seeks report from CS, DGP

Sangrur:The death toll due to the suspected consumption of spurious liquor in Punjab’s Sangrur district has climbed to 20, with six more people succumbing during treatment, officials on Saturday said.

The Election Commission of India on Saturday sought an immediate report from the Punjab Chief Secretary and the Director-General of Police in the Sangrur hooch tragedy. In a letter, the Punjab chief electoral officer asked the two senior officials to submit preliminary and detailed reports regarding the incident on Saturday to apprise the Commission, according to an official statement.

The officials earlier said that a four-member special investigation team (SIT), led by an additional director general of police rank officer, has been set up in connection with the incident. Eleven people are undergoing treatment at Patiala’s Rajindra Hospital and six at the Civil Hospital in Sangrur.

Sangrur Civil Surgeon Kirpal Singh on Saturday said 20 people have died so far in the incident. The officials said the casualties have been reported from Gujran, Tibbi Ravidaspura and Dhandoli Khurd villages in Dirba and Sunam blocks.

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Police have made eight arrests in the case so far, they said. The AAP government has been under fire from the opposition Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) over the hooch tragedy.

A case has already been registered under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Excise Act. The police on Saturday said a high-level committee has been set up to supervise the uncovering of the backward and forward linkages in a professional and scientific manner to unearth the nexus behind the whole matter.

A four-member SIT headed by ADGP (law and order) Gurinder Singh Dhillon will supervise the investigations. Deputy Inspector General (Patiala Range) Harcharan Bhullar, Senior Superintendent of Police, Sangrur, Sartaj Chahal, and Additional Commissioner (Excise) Naresh Dubey will be part of the SIT.

Police had earlier recovered 200 litres of ethanol, 156 bottles of alcohol, 130 bottles containing suspected spurious liquor with labelling, 80 bottles containing spurious liquor without labelling, 4,500 empty bottles and a bottling machine etc.

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