Ujjain illicit hooch tragedy: 12 booked under NSA, 9 police personnel suspended
The tragedy claimed at least 12 lives of labourers and beggars in the city on Wednesday and Thursday last week.Updated: Oct 20, 2020, 23:04 IST
At least 12 of about 150 accused arrested in Ujjain, 190 kilometres west of Bhopal, in connection with illicit hooch tragedy were booked under the National Security Act (NSA). The arrested accused also included those booked in the past one week during a drive against illegal sale of liquor and spirit.
As many as 9 police personnel have been suspended since Wednesday of whom three were booked for their involvement in sale of hooch in the city, said police.
The tragedy claimed at least 12 lives of labourers and beggars in the city on Wednesday and Thursday last week, the police said.
The victims lost their lives after consuming illicit hooch known as ‘Potali’ and ‘ginger liquor’ in Ujjain city on Wednesday and Thursday. The victims were found in different localities of the city within a radius of about 2 kilometres, most of them died. Two of them died during treatment in the district hospital.
The police officers suspended include a police station in-charge, two sub-inspectors and six constables. Of them, three police constables - Sheikh Anwar, Nawaz and Sudesh Khode - were found involved in the nexus that ran the racket of illicit hooch. Two of them were arrested and the third is absconding. Their involvement in the crime came to light on scrutiny of their calls details records (CDRs) done by police officials, said Satyendra Shukla, superintendent of police (SP), Ujjain.
Assistant commissioner of Ujjain Municipal Corporation (UMC) Subodh Jain was also suspended as two of the main accused - Sikandar and Gabbar - worked in the corporation under his supervision on a contractual basis, the district administration’s official release stated.
The SP said, “The 12 accused booked under the NSA include the main accused of hooch tragedy - Sikandar, Yunus and Gabbar - who made and sold the illicit hooch, a constable Sheikh Anwar’s brother Farukh Sheikh and eight others.”
While Yunus was arrested from Indore on Thursday, two other main accused were nabbed on Friday and Saturday. Before their arrest, Sikandar and Gabbar were sacked from the corporation.
Manager of a spirit factory Sanjay Sharma, who made the spirit available to the accused, was also arrested. During an interrogation, he told the police that the accused took spirit from him in the name of making sanitiser, said the SP.
Earlier, on Sunday, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan ordered shifting of the superintendent of police (SP) and additional superintendent of police and suspension of city superintendent of police (CSP) of the district, as per the state government’s spokesperson.
As many as 150 people, including the three main accused of the tragedy, have been arrested so far in connection with the tragedy and illegal sale of liquor and spirit in various parts of the city. Half a dozen shops and chemist stores have been sealed by the district administration for illegal sale of methanol, said a district administration official.