The Crime Branch of Ahmedabad police claimed on Saturday to have identified the mastermind behind the moonshine tragedy which has so far claimed 136 lives in the city.
"We have identified one bootlegger named Vinod Dagri, who is a resident of Mehamdabad (near Ahmedabad), to be the mastermind behind the supply of the killer country liquor. He has been absconding since the tragedy happened and our team is now hunting for him across the state," Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) of Ahmedabad Crime Branch Abhay Chudasma, told reporters on Saturday.
He alleged it was Dagri who had supplied 1,000 litres of country liquor to Ahmedabad-based bootlegger Harishankar Kahar alias Hari Om, that resulted in so many casualties. Kahar has been arrested.
The Crime Branch is also looking for Abdul Shara, another alleged bootlegger from Kankadiwad locality in Ahmedabad, who is also suspected to be involved in supplying the killer liquor in the affected areas of this city.
The police are also hunting for the people who supplied the chemicals that were mixed with the brew.
"The arrested bootlegger Harishankar Kahar has told the Crime Branch that he purchased 1,000 litres of country liquor from Vinod Dagri in Mehamdabad, which provided us the lead to hunt for Dagri immediately," Chudasma said.
He said that three of Kahar's key accomplices - Vipul Lohar, Uttam Lohar and Himmatsinh - were arrested by the police Saturday morning. "This will provide us further leads in the case," he said.
Meanwhile, the Gujarat Congress continued its attack on Chief Minister Narendra Modi for the tragedy caused by drinking illicit liquor. Leader of Opposition in the Gujarat assembly Shaktisinh Gohil told reporters that the chief minister was trying to shield the bootleggers by not taking appropriate action to arrest them.
Gujarat Congress president Siddharth Patel said his party legislators would continue to raise the issue of the tragedy both within and outside the Gujarat assembly in the coming days.