Government officials at a liquor bottling unit that was unearthed in Patiala district’s Rajpura town on Tuesday night.(HT Photo)
Government officials at a liquor bottling unit that was unearthed in Patiala district’s Rajpura town on Tuesday night.(HT Photo)

SHO suspended after illegal liquor factory unearthed in Punjab’s Rajpura

Show-cause notices to SP, two DSPs and CIA in-charge for laxity in checking spurious liquor trade
Hindustan Times, Patiala | By Vishal Rambani
UPDATED ON DEC 09, 2020 07:50 PM IST

Patiala A day after an illegal liquor factory was unearthed in Patiala district’s Rajpura town, the station house officer was on Wednesday placed under suspension and show-cause notices were issued to the superintendent of police, detective, the deputy superintendent of police, detective, and the crime investigation agency (CIA) in-charge.

Taking a serious note of the police laxity, Patiala senior superintendent of police (SSP) Vikram Jeet Duggal said there was a zero-tolerance policy towards spurious liquor and no police officer would be spared in Patiala district for showing leniency in dealing with crime control in the district.

FACTORY WAS RUNNING FOR OVER A WEEK

The role of the town’s police is under question as the DSP said that the factory was running for a week, while financial commissioner, taxation, A Venu Parsad confirmed that the unit was in place for a month-and-a-half.

Despite the police intelligence wing’s alert of large-scale liquor smuggling in the area, the police failed to make any arrest. Excise officials, however, unearthed another liquor factory.

Venu, who visited the spot with excise commissioner Rajat Aggarwal, said “Our investigation shows that the factory was running for the past one-and-a-half months. The ENA was pilfered with help of drivers. As we have installed GPRS in trucks carrying Extra Neutral Alcohol (ENA) movement, the basic raw material, the accused chose a site near the highway. The printed material was procured from Delhi, while ENA was blended with water to make liquor.” He said that police will investigate further.

KEY ACCUSED WAS KINGPIN OF SHAMBU RACKET

The SSP said that based on the information provided by excise officials, a case was registered under Sections 420, 465, 468 and 471 of the Indian Penal Code and under the Excise Act against Dipesh Grover of Rajpura and Karaj Singh of Shamaspur village of Rajpura. Grover was the kingpin of an illegal liquor factory busted at Shambu in Patiala district.

“We are concerned as Dipesh has again indulged in illegal sale of liquor, after coming out of bail in similar case. I have asked officials to nab his links, who were supplying ENA. We are also investigating as to who was selling the packed liquor,” the SSP said, adding action had taken against erring officials.

AAP PROTESTS

Seeking action against local Congress MLAs for the illegal trade, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) held a massive protest in Rajpura Town and burnt the effigy of Captain Amarinder Singh and local MLA Hardial Kamboj. “Patiala has not seen any major project over the past four years, but it has became a hub of illicit liquor. All this is mushrooming under the patronage of Congress leaders. Dipesh is a close aide of two Congress MLAs and the case should be shifted to any other agency to bring out role of politicians,” said Harchand Barsat and Neena Mittal, senior AAP leaders.

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