Ujjain illicit hooch tragedy: Chouhan’s crackdown continues, top cops punished
At least 12 people died after consuming illicit liquor that was being prepared and sold from a parking area controlled by the city corporation.Updated: Oct 18, 2020, 15:06 IST
Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Sunday ordered shifting of Ujjain’s two top police officers and suspended another following the loss of at least 12 lives in illicit hooch tragedy over two days in the district, said a senior official.
Superintendent of police (SP) Manoj Singh and additional superintendent of police (ACP) Rupesh Dwivedi were shifted out while city superintendent of police (CSP) Rajnish Kashyap was suspended
Earlier on Saturday, an assistant commissioner of Ujjain municipal corporation (UMC) was suspended after it was found that two of the main accused-- Sikandar and Gabbar happened to be employees of the corporation engaged on contractual basis.
The duo made and sold illicit hooch along with their accomplice Yunus, all residents of Ujjain, in the corporation’s parking area in the city. Both were sacked from the corporation after the tragedy. All the three accused were arrested in the past few days and also booked under National Security Act (NSA).
As many as 147 persons including the three main accused have been arrested so far in connection with the tragedy, as per officials.
The CM’s action came during a review of Ujjain tragedy on Sunday morning, based on the report filed by additional chief secretary home, Rajesh Rajora, who visited the city on Friday as a part of a special investigation team (SIT) probing the incident.
The high-level meeting was attended by chief secretary Iqbal Singh Bains, principal secretary and officer on special duty in CM secretariat, Manish Rastogi and Makarand Deuskar and commissioner public relations, Sudam Khade, as per an official release.
Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said, “Trade and sale of intoxicants being done illegally should be stopped at any rate in the state. There should be efforts to ensure harsh punishment to the guilty. There should be a constant drive against drug addiction and illicit hooch to ensure there is no recurrence of Ujjain-like incidents.”
More than 12 labourers and beggars lost their lives after consuming illicit hooch called ‘Potali’ or ‘ginger liquor’ in Ujjain city on Wednesday and Thursday.
One of the three main accused, Yunus, was arrested from Indore on Thursday while the other two, Sikandar and Gabbar, were arrested on Friday night. Prior to the action taken by the government on Sunday, as many as six police personnel, including a police station in charge, a sub-inspector and four constables were suspended.
There have been different accounts of the number of deaths caused due to the tragedy. The health officials in Ujjain claimed that at least 14 victims died and the police authorities too confirmed it initially but it later changed the number of casualties to 12.
(With input from Anand Nigam in Ujjain)