Illicit liquor trade in Punjab: Dullo seeks CBI probe into nexus, political patronage
Dullo, who also raised the liquor smuggling and illegal distribution issue in March, said it may not be feasible for the SIT set up by the state government to investigate inter-state illegal activities against the political and influential persons at all levelsUpdated: Jun 22, 2020 23:58 IST
A day after Congress MP Partap Singh Bajwa questioned the state government’s move to adopt the two-year fixed tenure rules for IAS officers, his Rajya Sabha counterpart Shamsher Singh Dullo on Monday sought a probe by CBI or a sitting high court judge into rampant liquor smuggling, bootlegging and illegal distillation of liquor in Punjab.
In a strongly worded letter to chief minister Amarinder Singh, Dullo said, “A fair probe is the need of the hour so that the real kingpins causing harm to our cash-strapped exchequer face stringent action.”
Dullo, who also raised the liquor smuggling and illegal distribution issue in March, said it may not be feasible for the special investigation team (SIT) set up by the state government to investigate inter-state illegal activities against the political and influential persons at all levels. “No kingpin has been arrested so far except some low-level functionaries. You are also aware that a large number of politicians, including some MLAs of different parties and police officials directly or indirectly are alleged to have been involved in this trade,” the former Punjab Congress president wrote to the CM.
Amarinder had on June 5 set up the three-member SIT under water resources minister Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria to investigate the racket.
Dullo said the liquor mafia was growing in the state with active connivance of district police officials and administration, and patronage of local political leaders. He said the illegal distilleries, production and sale of liquor had increased manifold during the recent years, and particularly during the curfew period, in violation of rules and regulations, citing the unlicensed distilleries unearthed at Ghanour, Khanna, Rajpura and Phagwara.