No one will be spared for hooch tragedy: Punjab CM

IANS | 2 months ago

Chandigarh, Aug 4 : Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday said that no one, whether a politician or a public servant, will be spared if found complicit in the recent hooch tragedy which snuffed out the lives of 111 people in the state.

The Chief Minister said that nobody will be allowed to get away with killing people with the poison called spurious liquor, adding that he has deployed the entire force of Punjab Police to crack down on the liquor mafia.

Some unscrupulous elements took advantage of the police's focus on battling the Covid-19 pandemic to satiate their greed at the cost of the lives of the people of Punjab, said the Chief Minister.

While the state government was busy battling the Covid-19 outbreak, which has claimed 449 lives in the state so far, the liquor mafia seized the opportunity to play with the lives of the people, he added.

This is sheer murder and the killers will not get away with it, Amarinder Singh said, referring to the death of 111 people -- 83 from Tarn Taran, 15 from Amritsar and 13 from Batala -- due to the consumption of spurious liquor.

"They knew this could kill and yet they supplied and sold the poison to the innocent people. They deserve no mercy," said Amarinder Singh, adding that his government stood with the families of the deceased in their hour of grief and he will leave no stone unturned to ensure justice for them.

Castigating the opposition for exploiting the tragedy for their petty political interests, the Chief Minister said that this is not the time to play politics but to stand by the government in its efforts to eliminate the liquor mafia that is indulging in such acts.

He also flayed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for holding sit-in protests against the hooch tragedy, and asked how this would help in battling the mafia or supporting the bereaved families.

The Chief Minister pointed out that such tragedies have been taking place through the years across states under different political dispensations.

Mafias and criminals do not have any political affiliation, their only interest is to earn money by hook or crook, he said, noting that the year 2019 had seen three hooch tragedies, all in the BJP-ruled states of Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, claiming 168, 97 and 30 lives, respectively.

In 2016, 16 people had died in the Janata Dal-ruled Bihar while in 2015, the BJP-led Maharashtra had lost 102 lives to hooch in Mumbai, and under the Trinamool Congress rule in West Bengal, as many as 167 people had died after consuming spurious liquor.

Almost every year, India witnesses hooch tragedy in some form or the other, which has nothing to do with who is in power in the affected state, said Amarinder Singh as he urged the opposition parties to stop playing politics over the lives of innocent Punjabis.

"Our people don't care which party is ruling the state, all they want is justice for their loved ones who fell victim to the greed of the liquor mafia," he said, pointing out that Punjab had also witnessed similar tragedies under the SAD-BJP regime.

The Chief Minister urged the Opposition to rise, for once, above their petty political interests and fight for justice for the people.

No one will be spared for hooch tragedy: Punjab CM

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