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Home / Cities / Punjab hooch tragedy: Ludhiana-based methanol supplier held

Punjab hooch tragedy: Ludhiana-based methanol supplier held

The accused revealed that he had supplied three drums of methyl alcohol which were used to make the spurious liquor that claimed hundreds of lives in the state.

cities Updated: Aug 04, 2020 22:48 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
Police personnel with recovered stills near Sutlej river in Ludhiana on Tuesday.
Police personnel with recovered stills near Sutlej river in Ludhiana on Tuesday. (Gurpreet Singh/HT)

Punjab Police has arrested the Ludhiana-based paint store owner responsible for triggering the chain of events that led to over hundred deaths by alcohol poisoning across three districts in the state.

Punjab is witnessing its worst hooch tragedy which unfolded on the night of July 29 after the first five fatalities were reported from Mucchal and Tangra villages in Amritsar’s Tarsikka.

As per director general of police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta, accused Rajeev Joshi was nabbed late on Monday, following which he revealed that he had supplied three drums of methanol (methyl alcohol), which were used to make the spurious alcohol, to Prabhdeep Singh, nephew of Ravinder Anand of Moga, who is further linked with Avtar Singh. The police are tracking the leads given by Joshi, who was reportedly procuring various types of alcohol and spirits from various places in Punjab and Delhi.

With the arrest of Joshi and two other key players in the case, the number of arrests has gone up to 40 – including 21 accused from Tarn Taran, 10 from Amritsar (rural) and 9 from Batala in Gurdaspur district. Since July 31, 563 raids have been conducted in the three districts under five FIRs, including one in Batala, two in Amritsar and two in Tarn Taran.

The DGP said one absconding accused, identified as Dharminder of Hathi Gate in Batala, was arrested on Tuesday. The DGP said 50 litres of alcohol was seized from him.

The state police had launched a major state-wide crackdown on spurious liquor leading to the arrest of 184 persons in 238 cases. So far, 5,943 litres of illicit liquor and 32,470kg lahan has been recovered, along with 8 working stills, during the raids across the state.

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