Punjab CM orders magisterial probe into 21 suspected spurious liquor deaths in three districts
Chandigarh: Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday ordered a magisterial inquiry by the Jalandhar divisional commissioner into the suspicious deaths of 21 people allegedly due to the consumption of spurious liquor in Amritsar, Batala and Tarn Taran.
One person is reported to be critical in the suspected hooch tragedy.
The inquiry will be conducted by the Jalandhar divisional commissioner along with joint excise and taxation commissioner, Punjab, and superintendents of police, investigation, of the districts concerned, an official spokesperson said.
The chief minister assured of strict action against anyone found complicit in the case, in which a woman has so far been arrested.
He also directed the police to launch a search operation to crack down on any spurious liquor manufacturing units that may be operating in the state.
Balwinder Kaur, a resident of Muchhal village in Amritsar district, has been arrested and booked under Sections 304 of the Indian Penal Code; Sections 61/1/14 of the Excise Act at Tarsikka police station.
The investigation is in progress under the special investigation team (SIT) constituted by the Amritsar Rural SSP from where the first cases were reported. The post-mortem of four victims, Jaswinder Singh, Kashmir Singh, Kirpal Singh and Jaswant Singh, is being conducted today to ascertain the cause of the deaths.
SUSPICIOUS DEATHS SINCE JULY 29
Punjab director general of police Dinkar Gupta said the first five deaths were reported from Mucchal and Tangra villages under the jurisdiction of the Tarsikka police station in Amritsar Rural on the night of July 29.
On July 30 evening, two more persons died in suspicious circumstances in Muchhal, while one person was hospitalised in critical condition and later succumbed at Sri Guru Ramdas Hospital, from where he was referred by Dr Sarabjit Kaur Hospital, Tangra.
Later, two more deaths were from reported from Mucchal village, while another two people reportedly died in Batala city, also due to spurious liquor consumption.
On July 31, five more people died in Batala, taking the toll in the city to seven, while one person has been referred to Civil Hospital, Batala, in a critical condition. Four more similarly suspicious deaths have also been reported from Tarn Taran.
The deceased have been identified as Mangal Singh, Balwinder Singh, Dalbir Singh, Gurpreet Singh, Kashmir Singh, Kaka Singh, Kirpal Singh, Jaswant Singh and Joga Singh, all residents of Muchhal village; Baldev Singh, a resident of Tangra village in Amritsar district.
The other deceased are Buta Ram, Bhinda, Riku Singh, Kala, Kalu, Billa and Jatinder, all residents of Batala city.
Those who died in Tarn Taran were identified as Sahib Singh, Harban Singh, Sukhdev Singh and Dharam Singh.