Trade in illicit liquor is nothing new for Dabri. Three sting operations in the past have exposed how the trade was being run in cahoots with the local police and the excise department officials.
The sting operations caught more than 50 police officials, including those from the excise department, accepting bribes from illegal liquor sellers on camera.
The sting operations, conducted in 2004, 2005 and 2006, showed that at least 53 government servants were hand-in-glove with people belonging to a particular community involved in the sale of spurious liquor. Chetan Sharma, a property dealer who conducted the sting operation, submitted the CD to the Delhi High Court. The court asked the commissioner of police to conduct an inquiry into the case.
A report submitted by the Crime Branch two months ago said the “CDs were genuine” and that the accused police officials would be chargesheeted in the case.
On the basis of a sting operation, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in 2004 had framed charges against 18 policemen of Dabri and Uttam Nagar police station.
In 2005, ten policemen, including station house officer of Dabri, and excise officials were suspended in Dabri. In the following years, 25 more policemen were suspended, including those posted with the police control room (PCR).
Six criminal cases registered Fourteen deaths due to consumption of spurious liquor were reported in the last three days from Brahmapuri in Dabri. Seven policemen, including the area SHO, have been suspended in the incident.
On Thursday, the Crime Branch investigating the deaths seized 1,500 quarters of liquor that were of Haryana make. “We seized around 400 bottles of liquor and sent them for examination. We are questioning the locals and are identifying people involved in the cartel,” said a senior police officer.
The Crime Branch registered six criminal cases, including two cases of culpable homicide not amounting to murder. Locals have alleged that flow of spurious liquour continued unabated in the area.
“Policemen openly accept bribes at border check posts. Even the excise officials are involved in the racket,” said Rame Kangra, who lost two sons to the hooch.