Punjab police forms high-level team to probe Sangrur hooch tragedy, 8 arrested

The Punjab Police constituted a four-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Saturday to probe the hooch tragedy in Sangrur district, which killed at least 20 people.

The SIT, headed by ADGP Law and Order Gurinder Singh Dhillon and comprising DIG Patiala Range Harcharan Singh Bhullar, SSP Sangrur Sartaj Chahal, and Additional Commissioner (Excise) Naresh Dubey, will supervise the uncovering of the backward and forward linkages to unearth the nexus behind the whole matter, police said.

The state police have arrested eight people, including two masterminds, in connection with the case, who were involved in selling spurious liquor in the area.

Those arrested were identified as Soma Kaur, Rahul alias Sanju, Pardeep Singh alias Babi, Gurlal Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, Arshdeep Singh, Manpreet Singh alias Mani and Sukhwinder Singh, all from different districts of Punjab.

Harmanpreet and Gurlal are the masterminds behind the incident, ADGP Gurinder Singh Dhillon said.

The Punjab Police had earlier recovered 200 litres of ethanol, 156 bottles of alcohol, 130 bottles containing suspected spurious liquor with labelling, 80 bottles containing spurious liquor without labels, 4,500 empty bottles and a bottling machine.

“The SIT will thoroughly investigate the forward and backward linkages, in this case, to unearth the modus operandi and nexus to trace the source of spurious liquor which found its way to the villages, and all the culprits involved in this case will be arrested,” police said.

Another five-member committee, led by the Dirba sub-divisional magistrate, was also formed to investigate the matter.

With six more people succumbing during treatment, the death toll has reached 20, police said. Over 20 people were undergoing treatment in different hospitals.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission on Saturday sought an immediate report from the Punjab chief secretary and the Director General of Police on the tragedy.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) also issued a notice to the Punjab government over the incident, stating that it amounted to serious issues of violation of the human rights of the victims.

Published On:

Mar 24, 2024

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