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Home / Cities / Hooch tragedy: Cops probing paint store owner’s hand in spurious sanitiser case

Hooch tragedy: Cops probing paint store owner’s hand in spurious sanitiser case

Accused had supplied methyl alcohol to hooch makers; traces of methanol found in 1,048 bottles of spurious sanitisers seized on June 17 too

cities Updated: Aug 05, 2020 21:14 IST
Mohit Khanna
Mohit Khanna
Hindustan Times, Ludhiana

A day after a Ludhiana-based paint store owner, Rajeev Joshi, was arrested for supplying methanol (methyl alcohol), which triggered the hooch tragedy that killed over 100 people, police are probing whether he had connections with the manufacturers of spurious sanitisers too.

As per information, on June 17, the drug licensing authorities had seized 1,048 bottles of spurious sanitisers, in which the presence of methanol was found.

Lavish Kumar Grover, the accused in the case, had managed to escape but later joined investigations after getting anticipatory bail.

Police are trying to find out if Joshi is the methanol supplier in this case too.

Sub-inspector Malkit Singh said, “Grover has joined probe but he is not telling us where the methanol was procured from. We will urge the court to cancel his anticipatory bail.”

Police commissioner Rakesh Agrawal said, “A joint team has been formed to probe the case and the information is being shared with the Tarn Taran police.”

As per law, a trader cannot sell over four litres of methyl alcohol (CH3OH), but Joshi sold over 600 litres of methyl alcohol to the hooch makers. Cops are now interrogating four employees, including Joshi’s driver and manager, to find out for how long the business has been going on.

A team from Amritsar Rural also raided three godowns belonging to Joshi and collected samples of the chemicals kept in the godown. Local police also accompanied the police party from Amritsar.

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