Hooch Tragedy: Congress MPs Bajwa, Dullo target Capt govt; seek CBI, ED probes
The two Rajya Sabha MPs requested the government to send a recommendation to the Centre for inquiry by the two central agencies into the production and distribution of illegal liquor in the stateUpdated: Aug 04, 2020 01:21 IST
In a joint offensive against the Capt Amarinder Singh government after Punjab’s worst hooch tragedy, Congress MPs Partap Singh Bajwa and Shamsher Singh Dullo on Monday demanded an “impartial and thorough” probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate into the illegal liquor business in the state.
Bajwa and Dullo, both former presidents of Punjab Congress, met Punjab governor VP Singh Badnore and alleged “clear-cut failure” on the part of the state administration and claimed the tragedy could have been averted had the chief minister acted in time on their complaints about illegal liquor businesses.
“Had CM acted in time, the hooch tragedy would not have taken place.... We have been highlighting this issue since 2017,” Dullo said, adding that it was the responsibility of the state government to act tough against liquor smugglers.
The two Rajya Sabha MPs requested the government to send a recommendation to the Centre for inquiry by the two central agencies into the production and distribution of illegal liquor in the state. “We had initially requested for an inquiry by a judge of the high court but now evidently a much deeper investigation is needed by a central investigative agency,” they wrote in a four-page letter to the governor, expressing lack of confidence in officers of the state departments.
The two leaders said they would meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi and, thereafter, take up the issue with the prime minister and the Union home minister. “We will also raise the issue of deaths of people in Parliament,” said Bajwa.
The two MPs said they had written letters to the chief minister (Capt Amarinder Singh) as well as spoken publicly about the loss to the public exchequer due to smuggling of liquor by licensed distilleries, functioning of illegal distilleries, and production of spurious liquor and sought action against the people guilty of committing these offences but no action was taken against the real culprits till date.
“The losses in revenue generation caused due to the smuggling of liquor are to the tune of ₹2,700 crore. This could not have been done without the consent/connivance of bureaucrats including police, excise officials and politicians in power,” they wrote. (with agency inputs)