Punjab CM orders magisterial probe into 21 suspected spurious liquor deaths

Punjab CM orders magisterial probe into 21 suspected spurious liquor deaths



chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday ordered a magisterial inquiry by Jalandhar divisional commissioner into the suspicious deaths of 21 people, allegedly due to consumption of spurious liquor, in Amritsar, Batala and Tarn Taran. One person reported to be critical in the suspected hooch tragedy.

The inquiry will look into the facts and circumstances leading to incidents, as well as into any other issues connected or relevant to the incidents. It will be conducted by Jalandhar divisional commissioner along with joint excise and taxation commissioner Punjab, and SPs, investigation of the concerned districts, according to an official spokesperson.

The commissioner has been authorised to co-opt any civil or police officer or an expert to facilitate the expeditious conduct of the enquiry. He has promised strict action against anyone found complicit in the case, in which a woman has so far been arrested. Taking immediate and serious note of the case, Amarinder also directed the police to launch a search operation to crackdown on any spurious liquor manufacturing units that may be operating in the state.

Meanwhile, the police have arrested Balwinder Kaur, resident of Muchhal, under sections 304 IPC, 61/1/14 Excise Act at PS Tarsikka. Further investigations are in progress under the Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted by SSP Amritsar-Rural, from where the first cases were reported. The post-mortem of four persons – Jaswinder Singh, Kashmir Singh, Kirpal Singh and Jaswant Singh – will be conducted to ascertain the exact cause of the deaths.

Giving details of the case, Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta said the first five deaths were reported from villages Mucchal and Tangra in Amritsar Rural on the night of June 29. On the evening of July 30, two more persons died in suspicious circumstances in Muchhal while one person was hospitalised in critical condition and later succumbed at Sri Guru Ramdas Hospital, from where he was referred by Dr Sarabjit Kaur Hospital, Tangra.

Later, two more deaths were reported from village Mucchal while another two people reportedly died in Batala city, also due to spurious liquor consumption.

Five more persons died in Batala on Friday, taking the toll in the city to seven while one person has been referred to Civil Hospital, Batala in critical condition. Four more similarly suspicious deaths have also been reported from Tarn Taran.

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