Illegal liquor distillery busted in Patiala, Congress sarpanch, MLA’s aide booked
The accused were bottling liquor in Royal Stag, Masti Malta, Lajawab Sofia and Raseela Santra bottles, which are sought after liquor brands in the region.Updated: May 14, 2020 16:41 IST
An illegal distillery-cum-liquor-bottling plant was busted in Ghanaur, Patiala, the home district of Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh. A Congress sarpanch and an MLA’s aide have been booked.
A similar illegal distillery was busted in Khanna in April.
Khanpur Khurd sarpanch Amrik Singh, who is also an aide of Congress MLA Madan Lal Jalalpur; and Dipesh Kumar of Rajpura, who is a confident of Congress MLA Hardial Singh Kamboj have been booked. Others named in the FIR are Harpreet Singh, Bacchi, and Amit Kumar, a resident of Uttar Pradesh.
Amrik’s wife is a Zila Parishad member, affiliated with the Congress.
Jalalpur admitted that he and MLA Kamboj and knew Dipesh but said they were unaware of his illegal dealings.
The factory was raided after the matter came into the notice of top officials of the Punjab government.
HAD NO KNOWLEDGE OF THE DISTILLARY: CONGRESS MLA
Jalalpur, a Congress MLA from Ghanaur, said, “It is true that Amrik was a trusterd aide but I have nothing to do with his illegal business. I was unaware that he was running an illegal distillery.”
“I have always condemned liquor smuggling and had asked officials to look into two factories in Patiala several times,” said the MLA.
1,000 CASES SOLD PER DAY
The distillery, which was being run in a cold store, was operating at full capacity since the lockdown.
The accused were bottling liquor in Royal Stag, Masti Malta, Lajawab Sofia and Raseela Santra bottles, which are sought after liquor brands in the region.
The distillery was using ethyl alcohol (ENA), which is used to manufacture sanitisers. The accused were diluting the chemical to make liquor and were selling around 1,000 cases of liquor a day.
ENA has around 70% liquor content, and becomes fit for consumption if it is diluted to 43%.
Authorities found bottling machinery, empty bottles, around 35 drums of ENA, holograms, labels of different brands and boxes. One person was arrested on the spot.
LIQUOR SOLD IN PUNJAB, HARYANA
The liquor was being sold in Punjab and Haryana. An excise official said the accused had made a significant profit.
“As per a conservative estimate, the accused had earned Rs 100 crore, in the last five months. The setup suggests that had been operating for at least one year”, said an excise official, requesting anonymity.
A FIR under Sections 420 (cheating), 467 (forgery), 471 (using as genuine a forged), 188 (disobeying public official’s order) and 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), sections of the Excise Act, and section 5 of the Disaster Management Act has been registered against accused.