Families of 20 Tarn Taran hooch tragedy victims say were not allowed to meet Punjab CM
They complained that authorities played with their sentiments by making them wait outside the stadium as Capt Amarinder Singh interacted with other families; DC cites security protocol, short notice but assures them of commitment to provide all benefitsUpdated: Aug 07, 2020 17:50 IST
TARN TARAN: Family members of 20 of the 121 victims of Punjab’s hooch tragedy on Friday alleged that police did not allow them to enter Sri Guru Arjan Dev Sports Stadium in Tarn Taran, where Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh had come to share their grief.
Of the 121 people who died after consuming illicit liquor since July 29, 92 are from Tarn Taran and its adjoining villages. The family members of victims from Kang, Muglani and Sangha villages and Tarn Taran town said the police had played with their sentiments by keeping them waiting outside the stadium.
The chief minister arrived at 9.50am and interacted with relatives of hooch victims in the stadium for about an hour.
“My husband, Satpal Singh, died last Saturday after consuming illicit liquor. I was called to this event by the administration. I was told that I would be taken to the event from the municipal council (MC) office. When I reached the MC office at 8.30am, officials asked me to go to the stadium. I reached at 9am but the police didn’t allow me in,” said Manjit Kaur, 55, of Railway Road, Tarn Taran.
“Whatever the government gives us as compensation is a different matter, but the police should have let us meet the chief minister,” she said.
Rajwant Kaur, 28, accompanied with her two-year-old son, said, “I was here at 9am but was not allowed to enter. The police said there was no use of going inside. I waited for two hours but was not even offered water.”
“Why were we called if we were not to be allowed inside?” said Paramjit Kumar of Kang village whose brother Parmodh Kumar died after consuming the illicit liquor.
Jashanpreet Kaur, 22, said: “I showed my father’s Aadhar card at the entry point, but the police didn’t allow me in.”
When contacted, Tarn Taran deputy commissioner Kulwant Singh said, “We had deployed officers to bring families to the event. The event was organised at a short notice. Sometimes, after the CM’s arrival, the security doesn’t allow entry at an event. There was no intention to stop the families. Rather, the event was for them. However, we are committed to providing the benefits to all victim families.”